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Title: The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India--Volume I (of IV)

Author: R.V. Russell

Release Date: February 15, 2007 [EBook #20583]

Language: English

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        The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India


                              R.V. Russell
   Of the Indian Civil Service Superintendent of Ethnography, Central
                              Assisted by
                          Rai Bahadur Hira Lal
                      Extra Assistant Commissioner

   Published Under the Orders of the Central Provinces Administration

                            In Four Volumes
                                Vol. I.

        Macmillan and Co., Limited St. Martin's Street, London.



This book is the result of the arrangement made by the Government
of India, on the suggestion of the late Sir Herbert Risley, for the
preparation of an ethnological account dealing with the inhabitants
of each of the principal Provinces of India. The work for the Central
Provinces was entrusted to the author, and its preparation, undertaken
in addition to ordinary official duties, has been spread over a number
of years. The prescribed plan was that a separate account should
be written of each of the principal tribes and castes, according
to the method adopted in Sir Herbert Risley's _Tribes and Castes of
Bengal_. This was considered to be desirable as the book is intended
primarily as a work of reference for the officers of Government, who
may desire to know something of the customs of the people among whom
their work lies. It has the disadvantage of involving a large amount
of repetition of the same or very similar statements about different
castes, and the result is likely therefore to be somewhat distasteful
to the ordinary reader. On the other hand, there is no doubt that this
method of treatment, if conscientiously followed out, will produce
more exhaustive results than a general account. Similar works for some
other Provinces have already appeared, as Mr. W. Crooke's _Castes and
Tribes of the North-Western Provinces and Oudh_, Mr. Edgar Thurston's
_Castes and Tribes of Southern India_, and Mr. Ananta Krishna Iyer's
volumes on Cochin, while a Glossary for the Punjab by Mr. H.A. Rose
has been partly published. The articles on Religions and Sects were
not in the original scheme of the work, but have been subsequently
added as being necessary to render it a complete ethnological account
of the population. In several instances the adherents of the religion
or sect are found only in very small numbers in the Province, and
the articles have been compiled from standard works.

In the preparation of the book much use has necessarily been made of
the standard ethnological accounts of other parts of India, especially
Colonel Tod's _Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan_, Mr. J.D. Forbes'
_Rasmala or Annals of Gujarat_, Colonel Dalton's _Ethnology of Bengal_,
Dr. Buchanan's _Eastern India_, Sir Denzil Ibbetson's _Punjab Census
Report_ for 1881, Sir John Malcolm's _Memoir of Central India_, Sir
Edward Gait's _Bengal and India Census Reports_ and article on Caste
in Dr. Hastings' _Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics_, Colonel
(Sir William) Sleeman's _Report on the Badhaks_ and _Ramaseeana or
Vocabulary of the Thugs,_ Mr. Kennedy's _Criminal Classes of the Bombay
Presidency_, Major Gunthorpe's _Criminal Tribes of Bombay, Berar and
the Central Provinces_, the books of Mr. Crooke and Sir H. Risley
already mentioned, and the mass of valuable ethnological material
contained in the _Bombay Gazetteer _ (Sir J. Campbell), especially the
admirable volumes on _Hindus of Gujarat_ by Mr. Bhimbhai Kirparam,
and _Parsis and Muhammadans of Gujarat_ by Khan Bahadur Fazlullah
Lutfullah Faridi, and Mr. Kharsedji Nasarvanji Seervai, J.P., and
Khan Bahadur Bamanji Behramji Patel. Other Indian ethnological works
from which I have made quotations are Dr. Wilson's _Indian Caste_
(_Times_ Press and Messrs. Blackwood). Bishop Westcott's _Kabir and the
Kabirpanth_ (Baptist Mission Press, Cawnpore), Mr. Rajendra Lal Mitra's
_Indo-Aryans_ (Newman & Co., Calcutta), _The Jainas_ by Dr. J.G. Buehler
and Mr. J. Burgess, Dr. J.N. Bhattacharya's _Hindu Castes and Sects_
(Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta), Professor Oman's _Mystics, Ascetics
and Saints of India, Cults, Customs and Superstitions of India_,
and _Brahmans, Theists and Muslims of India_ (T. Fisher Unwin),
Mr. V.A. Smith's _Early History of India_ (Clarendon Press), the
Rev. T.P. Hughes' _Dictionary of Islam_ (W.H. Allen & Co., and Heffer &
Sons, Cambridge), Mr. L.D. Barnett's _Antiquities of India_, M. Andre
Chevrillon's _Romantic India_, Mr. V. Ball's _Jungle Life in India_,
Mr. W. Crooke's _Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India_,
and _Things Indian_, Captain Forsyth's _Highlands of Central India_
(Messrs. Chapman & Hall), Messrs. Yule and Burnell's _Hobson-Jobson_
(Mr. Crooke's edition), Professor Hopkins' _Religions of India_, the
Rev. E.M. Gordon's _Indian Folk-Tales_ (Elliot & Stock), Messrs. Sewell
and Dikshit's _Indian Calendar_, Mr. Brennand's _Hindu Astronomy_,
and the late Rev. Father P. Dehon's monograph on the Oraons in the
_Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_.

Ethnological works on the people of the Central Provinces are not
numerous; among those from which assistance has been obtained are Sir
C. Grant's _Central Provinces Gazetteer_ of 1871, Rev. Stephen Hislop's
_Notes on the Aboriginal Tribes of the Central Provinces_, Colonel
Bloomfield's _Notes on the Baigas_, Sir Charles Elliott's _Hoshangabad
Settlement Report_, Sir Reginald Craddock's _Nagpur Settlement Report_,
Colonel Ward's _Mandla Settlement Report_, Colonel Lucie Smith's
_Chanda Settlement Report_, Mr. G.W. Gayer's _Lectures on Criminal
Tribes_, Mr. C.W. Montgomerie's _Chhindwara Settlement Report_,
Mr. C.E. Low's _Balaghat District Gazetteer_, Mr. E.J. Kitts' _Berar
Census Report_ of 1881, and the _Central Provinces Census Reports_
of Mr. T. Drysdale, Sir Benjamin Robertson and Mr. J.T. Marten.

The author is indebted to Sir J.G. Frazer for his kind permission to
make quotations from _The Golden Bough_ and _Totemism and Exogamy_
(Macmillan), in which the best examples of almost all branches of
primitive custom are to be found; to Dr. Edward Westermarck for
similar permission in respect of _The History of Human Marriage_,
and _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_ (Macmillan);
to Messrs. A. & C. Black in respect of the late Professor Robertson
Smith's _Religion of the Semites_; to Messrs. Heinemann for those
from M. Salomon Reinach's _Orpheus_; and to Messrs. Hachette et
Cie and Messrs. Parker of Oxford for those from _La Cite Antique_
of M. Fustel de Coulanges. Much assistance has also been obtained
from Sir E. B. Tylor's _Early History of Mankind_ and _Primitive
Culture_, Lord Avebury's _The Origin of Civilisation_, Mr. E. Sidney
Hartland's _Primitive Paternity_, and M. Salomon Reinach's _Cultes,
Mythes et Religions_. The labours of these eminent authors have made
it possible for the student to obtain a practical knowledge of the
ethnology of the world by the perusal of a small number of books; and
if any of the ideas put forward in these volumes should ultimately be
so fortunate as to obtain acceptance, it is to the above books that I
am principally indebted for having been able to formulate them. Other
works from which help has been obtained are M. Emile Senart's _Les
Castes dans I'Inde_, Professor W. E. Hearn's _The Aryan Household_,
and Dr. A.H. Keane's _The World's Peoples_. Sir George Grierson's great
work, _The Linguistic Survey of India_, has now given an accurate
classification of the non-Aryan tribes according to their languages
and has further thrown a considerable degree of light on the vexed
question of their origin. I have received from Mr. W. Crooke of the
Indian Civil Service (retired) much kind help and advice during the
final stages of the preparation of this work. As will be seen from the
articles, resort has constantly been made to his _Tribes and Castes_
for filling up gaps in the local information.

Rai Bahadur Hira Lal was my assistant for several years in the
taking of the census of 1901 and the preparation of the Central
Provinces District Gazetteers; he has always given the most loyal and
unselfish aid, has personally collected a large part of the original
information contained in the book, and spent much time in collating
the results. The association of his name in the authorship is no
more than his due, though except where this has been specifically
mentioned, he is not responsible for the theories and deductions
from the facts obtained. Mr. Pyare Lal Misra, barrister, Chhindwara,
was my ethnographic clerk for some years, and he and Munshi Kanhya
Lal, late of the Educational Department, and Mr. Aduram Chandhri,
Tahsildar, gave much assistance in the inquiries on different
castes. Among others who have helped in the work, Rai Bahadur
Panda Baijnath, Diwan of the Patna and Bastar States, should be
mentioned first, and Babu Kali Prasanna Mukerji, pleader, Saugor,
Mr. Gopal Datta Joshi, District Judge, Saugor, Mr. Jeorakhan Lal,
Deputy-Inspector of Schools, and Mr. Gokul Prasad, Tahsildar, may be
selected from the large number whose names are given in the footnotes
to the articles. Among European officers whose assistance should be
acknowledged are Messrs. C.E. Low, C.W. Montgomerie, A.B. Napier,
A.E. Nelson, A.K. Smith, R.H. Crosthwaite and H.F. Hallifax, of
the Civil Service; Lt.-Col. W.D. Sutherland, I.M.S., Surgeon-Major
Mitchell of Bastar, and Mr. D. Chisholm.

Some photographs have been kindly contributed by Mrs. Ashbrooke Crump,
Mrs. Mangabai Kelkar, Mr. G.L. Corbett, C.S., Mr. R.L. Johnston,
A.D.S.P., Mr. J.H. Searle, C.S., Mr. Strachey, Mr. H.E. Bartlett,
Professor L. Scherman of Munich, and the Diwan of Raigarh State. Bishop
Westcott kindly gave the photograph of Kabir, which appears in his
own book.

Finally I have to express my gratitude to the Chief Commissioner,
Sir Benjamin Robertson, for the liberal allotment made by the
Administration for the publication of the work; and to the publishers,
Messrs. Macmillan & Co., and the printers, Messrs. R. & R. Clark, for
their courtesy and assistance during its progress through the press.

September 1915.


Part I--Volume I

Introductory Essay on Caste
Articles on the Religions and Sects of the People of the Central Provinces
Glossary of Minor Castes and Other Articles, Synonyms, Subcastes,
Titles and Names of Exogamous Septs or Clans
Subject Index

Part II--Volumes II, III and IV

Descriptive Articles on the Principal
Castes and Tribes of the Central Provinces


Part I

Articles on Religions and Sects

The articles which are considered to be of most general interest
are shown in capitals

    Dadupanthi Sect 215
    Dhami Sect     216
    JAIN RELIGION     219
    Lingayat Sect     244
    Nanakpanthi Sect     277
    Parmarthi Sect     281
    Saiva Sect     302
    Sakta Sect     304
    SATNAMI SECT     307
    Sikh Religion     317
    Smarta Sect     325
    Swami-Narayan Sect     326
    VAISHNAVA SECT     330
    Vam-Margi Sect     333
    Wahhabi Sect     335

Articles on Minor Castes and Miscellaneous Notices Included in the


Part II--Vol. II

Articles on Castes and Tribes of the Central Provinces in Alphabetical

Agaria (_Iron-worker_)     3
Agharia (_Cultivator_)     8
Aghori (_Religious mendicant_)     13
Ahir (_Herdsman and milkman_)     18
Andh (_Tribe, now cultivators_)     38
Arakh (_Hunter_)     40
Atari (_Scent-seller_)     42
Audhelia (_Labourer_)     45
Badhak (_Robber_)     49
Bahna (_Cotton-cleaner_)     69
Baiga (_Forest tribe_)     77
Bairagi (_Religious mendicants_)     93
Balahi (_Labourer and village watchman_)     105
Balija (_Cultivator_)     108
Bania (_Merchant and moneylender_)     111

Subcastes of Bania


Banjara (_Pack-carrier_)     162
Barai (_Betel-vine grower and seller_)     192
Barhai (_Carpenter_)     199
Bari (_Maker of leaf-plates_)     202
Basdewa (_Cattle-dealer and religious mendicant_)     204
Basor (_Bamboo-worker_)     208
Bedar (_Soldier and public service_)     212
Beldar (_Digger and navvy_) 215
Beria (_Vagabond gipsy_)     220
Bhaina (_Forest tribe_)     225
Bhamta (_Criminal tribe and labourers_)     234
Bharbhunja (_Grain-parcher_)     238
Bharia (_Forest tribe_)     242
Bhat (_Bard and genealogist_)     251
Bhatra (_Forest tribe_)     271
Bhil (_Forest tribe_)     278
Bhilala (_Landowner and cultivator_)     293
Bhishti (_Water-man_)     298
Bhoyar (_Cultivator_)     301
Bhuiya (_Forest tribe_)     305
Bhulia (_Weaver_)     319
Bhunjia (_Forest tribe_)     322
Binjhwar (_Cultivator_)     329
Bishnoi (_Cultivator_)     337
Bohra (_Trader_)     345
Brahman (_Priest_)     351

Subcastes of Brahman

    Kanaujia, Kanyakubja.

Chadar (_Village watchman and labourer_)     400
Chamar (_Tanner and labourer_)     403
Chasa (_Cultivator_)     424
Chauhan (_Village watchman and labourer_)     427
Chhipa (_Dyer and calico-printer_)     429
Chitari (_Painter_) 432
Chitrakathi (_Picture showman_)     438
Cutchi (_Trader and shopkeeper_)     440
Dahait (_Village watchman and labourer_)     444
Daharia (_Cultivator_)     453
Dangi (_Landowner and cultivator_)     457
Dangri (_Vegetable-grower_) 463
Darzi (_Tailor_)     466
Dewar (_Beggar and musician_)     472
Dhakar (_Illegitimate, cultivator_) 477
Dhangar (_Shepherd_)     480
Dhanuk (_Bowman, labourer_) 484
Dhanwar (_Forest tribe_)     488
Dhimar (_Fisherman, water-carrier, and household servant_)  502
Dhoba (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     515
Dhobi (_Washerman_) 519
Dhuri (_Grain-parcher_)     527
Dumal (_Cultivator_)     530
Fakir (_Religious mendicant_)     537

Part II--Vol. III

Gadaria (_Shepherd_)     3
Gadba (_Forest tribe_)     9
Ganda (_Weaver and labourer_)     14
Gandhmali (_Uriya village priests and temple servants_)     17
Garpagari (_Averter of hailstorms_) 19
Gauria (_Snake-charmer and juggler_)     24
Ghasia (_Grass-cutter_)     27
Ghosi (_Buffalo-herdsman_)     32
Golar (_Herdsman_)     35
Gond (_Forest tribe and cultivator_)     39
Gond-Gowari (_Herdsman_)     143
Gondhali (_Religious mendicant_)     144
Gopal (_Vagrant criminal caste_)     147
Gosain (_Religious mendicant_)     150
Gowari (_Herdsman_) 160
Gujar (_Cultivator_)     166
Gurao (_Village Priest_)     175
Halba (_Forest tribe, labourer_)     182
Halwai (_Confectioner_)     201
Hatkar (_Soldier, shepherd_)     204
Hijra (_Eunuch, mendicant_) 206
Holia (_Labourer, curing hides_)     212
Injhwar (_Boatman and fisherman_)     213
Jadam (_Cultivator_)     217
Jadua (_Criminal caste_)     219
Jangam (_Priest of the Lingayat sect_)     222
Jat (_Landowner and cultivator_)     225
Jhadi Telenga (_Illegitimate, labourer_)     238
Jogi (_Religious mendicant and pedlar_)     243
Joshi (_Astrologer and village priest_)     255
Julaha (_Weaver_)     279
Kachera (_Maker of glass bangles_)     281
Kachhi (_Vegetable-grower_) 285
Kadera (_Firework-maker_)     288
Kahar (_Palanquin-bearer and household servant_)     291
Kaikari (_Basket-maker and vagrant_)     296
Kalanga (_Soldier, cultivator_)     302
Kalar (_Liquor vendor_)     306
Kamar (_Forest tribe_)     323
Kanjar (_Gipsies and prostitutes_)     331
Kapewar (_Cultivator_)     342
Karan (_Writer and clerk_)     343
Kasai (_Butcher_)     346
Kasar (_Worker in brass_)     369
Kasbi (_Prostitute_)     373
Katia (_Cotton-spinner_)     384
Kawar (_Forest tribe and cultivator_)     389
Kayasth (_Village accountant, writer and clerk_)     404
Kewat (_Boatman and fisherman_)     422
Khairwar (_Forest tribe; boilers of catechu_)     427
Khandait (_Soldier, cultivator_)     436
Khangar (_Village watchman and labourer_)     439
Kharia (_Forest tribe, labourer_)     445
Khatik (_Mutton-butcher_)     453
Khatri (_Merchant_) 456
Khojah (_Trader and shopkeeper_)     461
Khond (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     464
Kir (_Cultivator_)     481
Kirar (_Cultivator_)     485
Kohli (_Cultivator_)     493
Kol (_Forest tribe, labourer_)     500
Kolam (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     520
Kolhati (_Acrobat_) 527
Koli (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     532
Kolta (_Landowner and cultivator_)     537
Komti (_Merchant and shopkeeper_)     542
Kori (_Weaver and labourer_)     545
Korku (_Forest tribe, labourer_)     550
Korwa (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     571
Koshti (_Weaver_)     581

Part II--Vol. IV

Kumhar (_Potter_)     3
Kunbi (_Cultivator_)     16
Kunjra (_Greengrocer_)     50
Kuramwar (_Shepherd_)     52
Kurmi (_Cultivator_)     55
Lakhera (_Worker in lac_)     104
Lodhi (_Landowner and cultivator_)     112
Lohar (_Blacksmith_)     120
Lorha (_Growers of_ san-_hemp_)     126
Mahar (_Weaver and labourer_)     129
Mahli (_Forest tribe_)     146
Majhwar (_Forest tribe_)     149
Mal (_Forest tribe_)     153
Mala (_Cotton-weaver and labourer_) 156
Mali (_Gardener and vegetable-grower_)     159
Mallah (_Boatman and fisherman_)     171
Mana (_Forest tribe, cultivator_)     172
Manbhao (_Religious mendicant_)     176
Mang (_Labourer and village musician_)     184
Mang-Garori (_Criminal caste_)     189
Manihar (_Pedlar_)     193
Mannewar (_Forest tribe_)     195
Maratha (_Soldier, cultivator and service_) 198
Mehtar (_Sweeper and scavenger_)     215
Meo (_Tribe_)     233
Mina or Deswali (_Non-Aryan tribe, cultivator_)     235
Mirasi (_Bard and genealogist_)     242
Mochi (_Shoemaker_) 244
Mowar (_Cultivator_)     250
Murha (_Digger and navvy_)     252
Nagasia (_Forest tribe_)     257
Nahal (_Forest tribe_)     259
Nai (Barber)     262
Naoda (_Boatman and fisherman_)     283
Nat (_Acrobat_)     286
Nunia (_Salt-refiner, digger and navvy_)     294
Ojha (_Augur and soothsayer_)     296
Oraon (_Forest tribe_)     299
Paik (_Soldier, cultivator_)     321
Panka (_Labourer and village watchman_)     324
Panwar Rajput (_Landowner and cultivator_)     330
Pardhan (_Minstrel and priest_)     352
Pardhi (_Hunter and fowler_)     359
Parja (_Forest tribe_)     371
Pasi (_Toddy-drawer and labourer_)     380
Patwa (_Maker of silk braid and thread_)     385
Pindari (_Freebooter_)     388
Prabhu (_Writer and clerk_) 399
Raghuvansi (_Cultivator_)     403
Rajjhar (_Agricultural labourer_)     405
Rajput (_Soldier and landowner_)     410

Rajput Clans


Rajwar (_Forest tribe_)     470
Ramosi (_Village watchmen and labourers, formerly thieves_) 472
Rangrez (_Dyer_)     477
Rautia (_Forest tribe and cultivators, formerly soldiers_)     479
Sanaurhia (_Criminal thieving caste_)     483
Sansia (_Vagrant criminal tribe_)     488
Sansia (Uria) (_Mason and digger_)     496
Savar (_Forest tribe_)     500
Sonjhara (_Gold-washer_)     509
Sudh (_Cultivator_) 514
Sunar (_Goldsmith and silversmith_) 517
Sundi (_Liquor distiller_)     534
Tamera (_Coppersmith_)     536
Taonla (_Soldier and labourer_)     539
Teli (_Oilman_)     542
Thug (_Criminal community of murderers by strangulation_)     558
Turi (_Bamboo-worker_)     588
Velama (_Cultivator_)     593
Vidur (_Village accountant, clerk and writer_)     596
Waghya (_Religious mendicant_)     603
Yerukala (_Criminal thieving caste_)     606

Note.--The Gonds are the most important of the non-Aryan or primitive
tribes, and their social customs are described in detail. The
Baiga, Bhil, Kawar, Khond, Kol, Korku and Korwa are other important
tribes. The two representative cultivating castes are the Kurmis and
Kunbis, and the articles on them include detailed descriptions of Hindu
social customs, and some information on villages, houses, dress, food
and manner of life. Articles in which subjects of general interest are
treated are Darzi (clothes), Sunar (ornaments), Kachera and Lakhera
(bangles), Nai (hair), Kalar (veneration of alcoholic liquor),
Bania (moneylending and interest), Kasai (worship and sacrifice of
domestic animals), Joshi (the Hindu calendar and personal names),
Bhat (suicide), Dahait (significance of the umbrella), and Kanjar
(connection of Indian and European gipsies). The articles on Badhak,
Sansia and Thug are compiled from Sir William Sleeman's reports on
these communities of dacoits and murderers, whose suppression he
achieved. For further information the Subject Index may be consulted.



    Map of India             _Frontispiece_
    Map of the Central Provinces
    Map of the Central Provinces, showing principal linguistic or
    racial divisions     6


Volume I

     1. Hindu temple of the god Siva    16
     2. Hindu sculptures     26
     3. Peasant's hut    40
     4. Group of religious mendicants    56
     5. Drawing water from the village well     72
     6. Gayatri or sacred verse personified as a goddess     108
     7. Image of the god Jagannath, a form of Vishnu    118
     8. The god Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, with attendant
        deities 144
     9. Hindu bathing party     158
    10. Pilgrims carrying Ganges water     184
    11. A meeting of the Arya Samaj for investing boys with the sacred
        thread     202
    12. Jain temples at Muktagiri, Betul     220
    13. Jain ascetics with cloth before mouth and sweeping-brush
    14. Jain gods in attitude of contemplation     228
    15. Jain temple in Seoni     230
    16. Kabir     232
    17. Beggar on artificial horse at the Muharram festival 248
    18. Carrying the horse-shoe at the Muharram festival     252
    19. Tazia or tombs of Hussain at the Muharram festival     256
    20. Famous Tazia at Khandwa     260
    21. Representing a tiger at the Muharram festival     272
    22. Temple of Siva at Bandakpur, near Damoh     302
    23. Images of Siva and his consort Devi, or Parvati, with the
        bull and tiger     304
    24. Devotees, possessed, embracing each other, while supported
        on tridents, at Siva's fair at Pachmarhi     306
    25. Image of the prophet Swami Narayan in the Teli temple at
        Burhanpur     326
    26. Images of Rama, Lachman and Sita, with attendants     330
    27. Image of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, the consort of Vishnu,
        with attendant     332
    28. Image of the boar incarnation of Vishnu     334
    29. Bahrupia impersonating the goddess Kali     344
    30. Dasari religious mendicant with discus and conch-shell of
        Vishnu     406

Volume II

    31. Aghori mendicant     14
    32. Ahirs decorated with cowries for the Stick Dance at Diwali
    33. Image of Krishna as Murlidhar or the flute-player, with
        attendant deities     28
    34. Ahir dancers in Diwali costume     32
    35. Pinjara cleaning cotton     72
    36. Baiga village, Balaghat District     88
    37. Hindu mendicants with sect-marks     94
    38. Anchorite sitting on iron nails     98
    39. Pilgrims carrying water of the river Nerbudda     100
    40. _Coloured Plate_: Examples of Tilaks or sect-marks worn on
        the forehead     102
    41. Group of Marwari Bania women     112
    42. Image of the god Ganpati carried in procession     116
    43. The elephant-headed god Ganpati.  His conveyance is a rat,
        which can be seen as a little blob between his feet     120
    44. Mud images made and worshipped at the Holi festival 126
    45. Bania's shop     128
    46. Banjara women with the _singh_ or horn     184
    47. Group of Banjara women     188
    48. Basors making baskets of bamboo     210
    49. Bhat with his _putla_ or doll     256
    50. Group of Bhils     278
    51. Tantia Bhil, a famous dacoit     282
    52. Group of Bohras at Burhanpur (Nimar)     346
    53. Brahman worshipping his household gods     380
    54. Brahman bathing party     384
    55. Brahman Pujaris or priests     390
    56. Group of Maratha Brahman men     392
    57. Group of Naramdeo Brahman women     396
    58. Group of Naramdeo Brahman men     398
    59. Chamars tanning and working in leather     416
    60. Chamars cutting leather and making shoes     418
    61. Chhipa or calico-printer at work     430
    62. Dhimar or fisherman's hut     502
    63. Fishermen in dug-outs or hollowed tree trunks     506
    64. Group of Gurujwale Fakirs     538

Volume III

    65. Gond women grinding corn     42
    66. Palace of the Gond kings of Garha-Mandla at Ramnagar     46
    67. Gonds on a journey     62
    68. Killing of Rawan, the demon king of Ceylon, from whom the
        Gonds are supposed to be descended     114
    69. Woman about to be swung round the post called Meghnath     116
    70. Climbing the pole for a bag of sugar     118
    71. Gonds with their bamboo carts at market     122
    72. Gond women, showing tattooing on backs of legs     126
    73. Maria Gonds in dancing costume     136
    74. Gondhali musicians and dancers     144
    75. Gosain mendicant     150
    76. Alakhwale Gosains with faces covered with ashes     152
    77. Gosain mendicants with long hair     154
    78. Famous Gosain Mahant. Photograph taken after death     156
    79. Gujar village proprietress and her land agent     168
    80. Guraos with figures made at the Holi festival called Gangour
    81. Group of Gurao musicians with their instruments     180
    82. Ploughing with cows and buffaloes in Chhattisgarh     182
    83. Halwai or confectioner's shop     202
    84. Jogi mendicants of the Kanphata sect     244
    85. Jogi musicians with _sarangi_ or fiddle     250
    86. Kaikaris making baskets     298
    87. Kanjars making ropes     332
    88. A group of Kasars or brass-workers     370
    89. Dancing girls and musicians 374
    90. Girl in full dress and ornaments     378
    91. Old type of sugarcane mill     494
    92. Group of Kol women     512
    93. Group of Kolams     520
    94. Korkus of the Melghat hills 550
    95. Korku women in full dress     556
    96. Koshti men dancing a figure, holding strings and beating
        sticks     582

Volume IV

    97. Potter at his wheel 4
    98. Group of Kunbis     16
    99. Figures of animals made for Pola festival     40
    100. Hindu boys on stilts     42
    101. Throwing stilts into the water at the Pola festival     46
    102. Carrying out the dead     48
    103. Pounding rice     60
    104. Sowing     84
    105. Threshing     86
    106. Winnowing     88
    107. Women grinding wheat and husking rice     90
    108. Group of women in Hindustani dress 92
    109. _Coloured Plate_: Examples of spangles worn by women on the
         forehead    106
    110. Weaving: sizing the warp     142
    111. Winding thread     144
    112. Bride and bridegroom with marriage crowns     166
    113. Bullocks drawing water with _mot_     170
    114. Mang musicians with drums     186
    115. Statue of Maratha leader, Bimbaji Bhonsla, in armour     200
    116. Image of the god Vishnu as Vithoba 248
    117. Coolie women with babies slung at the side 256
    118. Hindu men showing the _choti_ or scalp-lock     272
    119. Snake-charmer with cobras     292
    120. Transplanting rice 340
    121. Group of Pardhans     350
    122. Little girls playing     400
    123. Gujarati girls doing figures with strings and sticks     402
    124. Ornaments     524
    125. Teli's oil-press     544
    126. The Goddess Kali     574
    127. Waghya mendicants     604


    _a_     has the sound of          _u_ in _but_ or _murmur_.
    _a_     has the sound of _a_ in _bath_ or _tar_.
    _e_     has the sound of _e_ in _ecarte_ or _ai_ in _maid_.
    _i_     has the sound of _i_ in _bit_, or (as a final letter)
            of _y_ in _sulky_
    _i_     has the sound of _ee_ in _beet_.
    _o_     has the sound of _o_ in _bore_ or _bowl_.
    _u_     has the sound of _u_ in _put_ or _bull_.
    _u_     has the sound of _oo_ in _poor_ or _boot_.

The plural of caste names and a few common Hindustani words is formed
by adding _s_ in the English manner according to ordinary usage,
though this is not, of course, the Hindustani plural.

Note.--The rupee contains 16 annas, and an anna is of the same value
as a penny. A pice is a quarter of an anna, or a farthing. Rs. 1-8
signifies one rupee and eight annas. A lakh is a hundred thousand,
and a krore ten million.



List of Paragraphs

     1. _The Central Provinces._
     2. _Constitution of the population._
     3. _The word 'Caste.'_
     4. _The meaning of the term 'Caste.'_
     5. _The subcaste._
     6. _Confusion of nomenclature._
     7. _Tests of what a caste is._
     8. _The four traditional castes._
     9. _Occupational theory of caste._
    10. _Racial theory._
    11. _Entry of the Aryans into India. The Aryas and Dasyus._
    12. _The Sudra._
    13. _The Vaishya._
    14. _Mistaken modern idea of the Vaishyas._
    15. _Mixed unions of the four classes._
    16. _Hypergamy._
    17. _The mixed castes. The village menials._
    18. _Social gradation of castes._
    19. _Castes ranking above the cultivators._
    20. _Castes from whom a Brahman can take water. Higher
    21. _Status of the cultivator._
    22. _The clan and the village._
    23. _The ownership of land._
    24. _The cultivating status that of the Vaishya._
    25. _Higher professional and artisan castes._
    26. _Castes from whom a Brahman cannot take water; the
        village menials._
    27. _The village watchmen._
    28. _The village priests. The gardening castes._
    29. _Other village traders and menials._
    30. _Household servants._
    31. _Status of the village menials._
    32. _Origin of their status._
    33. _Other castes who rank with the village menials._
    34. _The non-Aryan tribes._
    35. _The Kolarians and Dravidians._
    36. _Kolarian tribes._
    37. _Dravidian tribes._
    38. _Origin of the Kolarian tribes._
    39. _Of the Dravidian tribes._
    40. _Origin of the impure castes._
    41. _Derivation of the impure castes from the indigenous
    42. _Occupation the basis of the caste-system._
    43. _Other agents in the formation of castes._
    44. _Caste occupations divinely ordained._
    45. _Subcastes, local type._
    46. _Occupational subcastes._
    47. _Subcastes formed from social or religious differences,
        or from mixed descent._
    48. _Exogamous groups._
    49. _Totemistic clans._
    50. _Terms of relationship._
    51. _Clan kinship and totemism._
    52. _Animate Creation._
    53. _The distribution of life over the body._
    54. _Qualities associated with animals._
    55. _Primitive language._
    56. _Concrete nature of primitive ideas._
    57. _Words and names concrete._
    58. _The soul or spirit._
    59. _The transmission of qualities._
    60. _The faculty of counting. Confusion of the individual
        and the species._
    61. _Similarity and identity._
    62. _The recurrence of events._
    63. _Controlling the future._
    64. _The common life._
    65. _The common life of the clan._
    66. _Living and eating together._
    67. _The origin of exogamy._
    68. _Promiscuity and female descent._
    69. _Exogamy with female descent._
    70. _Marriage._
    71. _Marriage by capture._
    72. _Transfer of the bride to her husband's clan._
    73. _The exogamous clan with male descent and the village._
    74. _The large exogamous clans of the Brahmans and Rajputs. The
        Sapindas, the_ gens _and the_ g'enoc.
    75. _Comparison of Hindu society with that of Greece and
        Rome. The_ gens.
    76. _The clients._
    77. _The plebeians._
    78. _The binding social tie in the city-states._
    79. _The Suovetaurilia._
    80. _The sacrifice of the domestic animal._
    81. _Sacrifices of the_ gens _and phratry._
    82. _The Hindu caste-feasts._
    83. _Taking food at initiation._
    84. _Penalty feasts._
    85. _Sanctity of grain-food._
    86. _The corn-spirit._
    87. _The king._
    88. _Other instances of the common meal as a sacrificial rite._
    89. _Funeral feasts._
    90. _The Hindu deities and the sacrificial meal._
    91. _Development of the occupational caste from the tribe._
    92. _Veneration of the caste implements._
    93. _The caste_ panchayat _and its code of offences._
    94. _The status of impurity._
    95. _Caste and Hinduism._
    96. _The Hindu reformers._
    97. _Decline of the caste system._

1. The Central Provinces.

The territory controlled by the Chief Commissioner of the Central
Provinces and Berar has an area of 131,000 square miles and a
population of 16,000,000 persons. Situated in the centre of the Indian
Peninsula, between latitudes 17 deg.47' and 24 deg.27' north, and longitudes
76 deg. and 84 deg. east, it occupies about 7.3 per cent of the total area
of British India. It adjoins the Central India States and the United
Provinces to the north, Bombay to the west, Hyderabad State and the
Madras Presidency to the south, and the Province of Bihar and Orissa
to the east. The Province was constituted as a separate administrative
unit in 1861 from territories taken from the Peshwa in 1818 and the
Maratha State of Nagpur, which had lapsed from failure of heirs in
1853. Berar, which for a considerable previous period had been held on
a lease or assignment from the Nizam of Hyderabad, was incorporated
for administrative purposes with the Central Provinces in 1903. In
1905 the bulk of the District of Sambalpur, with five Feudatory States
inhabited by an Uriya-speaking population, were transferred to Bengal
and afterwards to the new Province of Bihar and Orissa, while five
Feudatory States of Chota Nagpur were received from Bengal. The
former territory had been for some years included in the scope of
the Ethnographic Survey, and is shown coloured in the annexed map of
linguistic and racial divisions.

The main portion of the Province may be divided, from north-west
to south-east, into three tracts of upland, alternating with two of
plain country. In the north-west the Districts of Sangor and Damoh lie
on the Vindhyan or Malwa plateau, the southern face of which rises
almost sheer from the valley of the Nerbudda. The general elevation
of this plateau varies from 1500 to 2000 feet. The highest part is
that immediately overhanging the Nerbudda, and the general slope is to
the north, the rivers of this area being tributaries of the Jumna and
Ganges. The surface of the country is undulating and broken by frequent
low hills covered with a growth of poor and stunted forest. The second
division consists of the long and narrow valley of the Nerbudda,
walled in by the Vindhyan and Satpura hills to the north and south,
and extending for a length of about 200 miles from Jubbulpore to
Handia, with an average width of twenty miles. The valley is situated
to the south of the river, and is formed of deep alluvial deposits of
extreme richness, excellently suited to the growth of wheat. South
of the valley the Satpura range or third division stretches across
the Province, from Amarkantak in the east (the sacred source of the
Nerbudda) to Asirgarh in the Nimar District in the west, where its
two parallel ridges bound the narrow valley of the Tapti river. The
greater part consists of an elevated plateau, in some parts merely a
rugged mass of hills hurled together by volcanic action, in others
a succession of bare stony ridges and narrow fertile valleys, in
which the soil has been deposited by drainage. The general elevation
of the plateau is 2000 feet, but several of the peaks rise to 3500,
and a few to more than 4000 feet. The Satpuras form the most important
watershed of the Province, and in addition to the Nerbudda and Tapti,
the Wardha and Wainganga rivers rise in these hills. To the east a
belt of hill country continues from the Satpuras to the wild and rugged
highlands of the Chota Nagpur plateau, on which are situated the five
States recently annexed to the Province. Extending along the southern
and eastern faces of the Satpura range lies the fourth geographical
division, to the west the plain of Berar and Nagpur, watered by the
Purna, Wardha and Wainganga rivers, and further east the Chhattisgarh
plain, which forms the upper basin of the Mahanadi. The Berar and
Nagpur plain contains towards the west the shallow black soil in which
autumn crops, like cotton and the large millet juari, which do not
require excessive moisture, can be successfully cultivated. This area
is the great cotton-growing tract of the Province, and at present the
most wealthy. The valleys of the Wainganga and Mahanadi further east
receive a heavier rainfall and are mainly cropped with rice. Many small
irrigation tanks for rice have been built by the people themselves,
and large tank and canal works are now being undertaken by Government
to protect the tract from the uncertainty of the rainfall. South of
the plain lies another expanse of hill and plateau comprised in the
zarmindari estates of Chanda and the Chhattisgarh Division and the
Bastar and Kanker Feudatory States. This vast area, covering about
24,000 square miles, the greater part of which consists of dense
forests traversed by precipitous mountains and ravines, which formerly
rendered it impervious to Hindu invasion or immigration, producing
only on isolated stretches of culturable land the poorer raincrops,
and sparsely peopled by primitive Gonds and other forest tribes,
was probably, until a comparatively short time ago, the wildest
and least-known part of the whole Indian peninsula. It is now being
rapidly opened up by railways and good roads.

2. Constitution of the population.

Up to a few centuries ago the Central Provinces remained outside the
sphere of Hindu and Muhammadan conquest. To the people of northern
India it was known as Gondwana, an unexplored country of inaccessible
mountains and impenetrable forests, inhabited by the savage tribes
of Gonds from whom it took its name. Hindu kingdoms were, it is true,
established over a large part of its territory in the first centuries
of our era, but these were not accompanied by the settlement and
opening out of the country, and were subsequently subverted by the
Dravidian Gonds, who perhaps invaded the country in large numbers from
the south between the ninth and twelfth centuries. Hindu immigration
and colonisation from the surrounding provinces occurred at a later
period, largely under the encouragement and auspices of Gond kings. The
consequence is that the existing population is very diverse, and is
made up of elements belonging to many parts of India. The people of
the northern Districts came from Bundelkhand and the Gangetic plain,
and here are found the principal castes of the United Provinces and the
Punjab. The western end of the Nerbudda valley and Betul were colonised
from Malwa and Central India. Berar and the Nagpur plain fell to the
Marathas, and one of the most important Maratha States, the Bhonsla
kingdom, had its capital at Nagpur. Cultivators from western India
came and settled on the land, and the existing population are of
the same castes as the Maratha country or Bombay. But prior to the
Maratha conquest Berar and the Nimar District of the Central Provinces
had been included in the Mughal empire, and traces of Mughal rule
remain in a substantial Muhammadan element in the population. To
the south the Chanda District runs down to the Godavari river, and
the southern tracts of Chanda and Bastar State are largely occupied
by Telugu immigrants from Madras. To the east of the Nagpur plain
the large landlocked area of Chhattisgarh in the upper basin of the
Mahanadi was colonised at an early period by Hindus from the east of
the United Provinces and Oudh, probably coming through Jubbulpore. A
dynasty of the Haihaivansi Rajput clan established itself at Ratanpur,
and owing to the inaccessible nature of the country, protected as
it is on all sides by a natural rampart of hill and forest, was able
to pursue a tranquil existence untroubled by the wars and political
vicissitudes of northern India. The population of Chhattisgarh thus
constitutes to some extent a distinct social organism, which retained
until quite recently many remnants of primitive custom. The middle
basin of the Mahanadi to the east of Chhattisgarh, comprising the
Sambalpur District and adjoining States, was peopled by Uriyas from
Orissa, and though this area has now been restored to its parent
province, notices of its principal castes have been included in
these volumes. Finally, the population contains a large element of
the primitive or non-Aryan tribes, rich in variety, who have retired
before the pressure of Hindu cultivators to its extensive hills and
forests. The people of the Central Provinces may therefore not unjustly
be considered as a microcosm of a great part of India, and conclusions
drawn from a consideration of their caste rules and status may claim
with considerable probability of success to be applicable to those of
the Hindus generally. For the same reason the standard ethnological
works of other Provinces necessarily rank as the best authorities on
the castes of the Central Provinces, and this fact may explain and
excuse the copious resort which has been made to them in these volumes.

3. The word 'Caste.'

The word 'Caste,' Dr. Wilson states, [1] is not of Indian origin,
but is derived from the Portuguese _casta_, signifying race, mould
or quality. The Indian word for caste is _jat_ or _jati_, which has
the original meaning of birth or production of a child, and hence
denotes good birth or lineage, respectability and rank. _Jatha_
means well-born. Thus _jat_ now signifies a caste, as every Hindu
is born into a caste, and his caste determines his social position
through life.

4. The meaning of the term 'Caste.'

The two main ideas denoted by a caste are a community or persons
following a common occupation, and a community whose members marry
only among themselves. A third distinctive feature is that the
members of a caste do not as a rule eat with outsiders with the
exception of other Hindu castes of a much higher social position
than their own. None of these will, however, serve as a definition
of a caste. In a number of castes the majority of members have
abandoned their traditional occupation and taken to others. Less
than a fifth of the Brahmans of the Central Provinces are performing
any priestly or religious functions, and the remaining four-fifths
are landholders or engaged in Government service as magistrates,
clerks of public offices, constables and orderlies, or in railway
service in different grades, or in the professions as barristers and
pleaders, doctors, engineers and so on. The Rajputs and Marathas
were originally soldiers, but only an infinitely small proportion
belong to the Indian Army, and the remainder are ruling chiefs,
landholders, cultivators, labourers or in the various grades of
Government service and the police. Of the Telis or oil-pressers
only 9 per cent are engaged in their traditional occupation, and
the remainder are landholders, cultivators and shopkeepers. Of
the Ahirs or graziers only 20 per cent tend and breed cattle. Only
12 per cent of the Chamars are supported by the tanning industry,
and so on. The Bahnas or cotton-cleaners have entirely lost their
occupation, as cotton is now cleaned in factories; they are cartmen
or cultivators, but retain their caste name and organisation. Since
the introduction of machine-made cloth has reduced the profits of
hand-loom weaving, large numbers of the weaving castes have been
reduced to manual labour as a means of subsistence. The abandonment
of the traditional occupation has become a most marked feature of
Hindu society as a result of the equal opportunity and freedom in the
choice of occupations afforded by the British Government, coupled with
the rapid progress of industry and the spread of education. So far it
has had no very markedly disintegrating effect on the caste system,
and the status of a caste is still mainly fixed by its traditional
occupation; but signs are not wanting of a coming change. Again,
several castes have the same traditional occupation; about forty of
the castes of the Central Provinces are classified as agriculturists,
eleven as weavers, seven as fishermen, and so on. Distinctions of
occupation therefore are not a sufficient basis for a classification
of castes. Nor can a caste be simply defined as a body of persons who
marry only among themselves, or, as it is termed, an endogamous group;
for almost every important caste is divided into a number of subcastes
which do not marry and frequently do not eat with each other. But it
is a distinctive and peculiar feature of caste as a social institution
that it splits up the people into a multitude of these divisions and
bars their intermarriage; and the real unit of the system and the basis
of the fabric of Indian society is this endogamous group or subcaste.

5. The subcaste.

The subcastes, however, connote no real difference of status or
occupation. They are little known except within the caste itself, and
they consist of groups within the caste which marry among themselves,
and attend the communal feasts held on the occasions of marriages,
funerals and meetings of the caste _panchayat_ or committee for the
judgment of offences against the caste rules and their expiation by
a penalty feast; to these feasts all male adults of the community,
within a certain area, are invited. In the Central Provinces the 250
groups which have been classified as castes contain perhaps 2000
subcastes. Except in some cases other Hindus do not know a man's
subcaste, though they always know his caste; among the ignorant lower
castes men may often be found who do not know whether their caste
contains any subcastes or whether they themselves belong to one. That
is, they will eat and marry with all the members of their caste within
a circle of villages, but know nothing about the caste outside those
villages, or even whether it exists elsewhere. One subdivision of
a caste may look down upon another on the ground of some difference
of occupation, of origin, or of abstaining from or partaking of some
article of food, but these distinctions are usually confined to their
internal relations and seldom recognised by outsiders. For social
purposes the caste consisting of a number of these endogamous groups
generally occupies the same position, determined roughly according
to the respectability of its traditional occupation or extraction.

6. Confusion of nomenclature.

No adequate definition of caste can thus be obtained from community
of occupation or intermarriage; nor would it be accurate to say
that every one must know his own caste and that all the different
names returned at the census may be taken as distinct. In the Central
Provinces about 900 caste-names were returned at the census of 1901,
and these were reduced in classification to about 250 proper castes.

In some cases synonyms are commonly used. The caste of _pan_ or
betel-vine growers and sellers is known indifferently as Barai,
Pansari or Tamboli. The great caste of Ahirs or herdsmen has several
synonyms--as Gaoli in the Northern Districts, Rawat or Gahra in
Chhattisgarh, Gaur among the Uriyas, and Golkar among Telugus. Lohars
are also called Khati and Kammari; Masons are called Larhia, Raj
and Beldar. The more distinctly occupational castes usually have
different names in different parts of the country, as Dhobi, Warthi,
Baretha, Chakla and Parit for washermen; Basor, Burud, Kandra and
Dhulia for bamboo-workers, and so on. Such names may show that the
subdivisions to which they are applied have immigrated from different
parts of India, but the distinction is generally not now maintained,
and many persons will return one or other of them indifferently. No
object is gained, therefore, by distinguishing them in classification,
as they correspond to no differences of status or occupation, and at
most denote groups which do not intermarry, and which may therefore
more properly be considered as subcastes.

Titles or names of offices are also not infrequently given as caste
names. Members of the lowest or impure castes employed in the office
of Kotwar or village watchmen prefer to call themselves by this name,
as they thus obtain a certain rise in status, or at least they think
so. In some localities the Kotwars or village watchmen have begun
to marry among themselves and try to form a separate caste. Chamars
(tanners) or Mahars (weavers) employed as grooms will call themselves
Sais and consider themselves superior to the rest of their caste. The
Thethwar Rawats or Ahirs will not clean household cooking-vessels,
and therefore look down on the rest of the caste and prefer to call
themselves by this designation, as 'Theth' means 'exact' or 'pure,'
and Thethwar is one who has not degenerated from the ancestral
calling. Salewars are a subcaste of Koshtis (weavers), who work
only in silk and hence consider themselves as superior to the other
Koshtis and a separate caste. The Rathor subcaste of Telis in Mandla
have abandoned the hereditary occupation of oil-pressing and become
landed proprietors. They now wish to drop their own caste and to be
known only as Rathor, the name of one of the leading Rajput clans, in
the hope that in time it will be forgotten that they ever were Telis,
and they will be admitted into the community of Rajputs. It occurred
to them that the census would be a good opportunity of advancing a
step towards the desired end, and accordingly they telegraphed to the
Commissioner of Jubbulpore before the enumeration, and petitioned the
Chief Commissioner after it had been taken, to the effect that they
might be recorded and classified only as Rathor and not as Teli; this
method of obtaining recognition of their claims being, as remarked
by Sir Bampfylde Fuller, a great deal cheaper than being weighed
against gold. On the other hand, a common occupation may sometimes
amalgamate castes originally distinct into one. The sweeper's calling
is well-defined and under the generific term of Mehtar are included
members of two or three distinct castes, as Dom, Bhangi and Chuhra;
the word Mehtar means a prince or headman, and it is believed that
its application to the sweeper by the other servants is ironical. It
has now, however, been generally adopted as a caste name. Similarly,
Darzi, a tailor, was held by Sir D. Ibbetson to be simply the name
of a profession and not that of a caste; but it is certainly a true
caste in the Central Provinces, though probably of comparatively late
origin. A change of occupation may transfer a whole body of persons
from one caste to another. A large section of the Banjara caste of
carriers, who have taken to cultivation, have become included in the
Kunbi caste in Berar and are known as Wanjari Kunbi. Another subcaste
of the Kunbis called Manwa is derived from the Mana tribe. Telis or
oilmen, who have taken to vending liquor, now form a subcaste of the
Kalar caste called Teli-Kalar; those who have become shopkeepers
are called Teli-Bania and may in time become an inferior section
of the Bania caste. Other similar subcastes are the Ahir-Sunars or
herdsmen-goldsmiths, the Kayasth-Darzis or tailors, the Kori-Chamars
or weaver-tanners, the Gondi Lohars and Barhais, being Gonds who have
become carpenters and blacksmiths and been admitted to these castes;
the Mahar Mhalis or barbers, and so on.

7. Tests of what a caste is.

It would appear, then, that no precise definition of a caste can
well be formulated to meet all difficulties. In classification, each
doubtful case must be taken by itself, and it must be determined, on
the information available, whether any body of persons, consisting
of one or more endogamous groups, and distinguished by one or more
separate names, can be recognised as holding, either on account of its
traditional occupation or descent, such a distinctive position in the
social system, that it should be classified as a caste. But not even
the condition of endogamy can be accepted as of universal application;
for Vidurs, who are considered to be descended from Brahman fathers and
women of other castes, will, though marrying among themselves, still
receive the offspring of such mixed alliances into the community; in
the case of Gosains and Bairagis, who, from being religious orders,
have become castes, admission is obtained by initiation as well
as by birth, and the same is the case with several other orders;
some of the lower castes will freely admit outsiders; and in parts
of Chhattisgarh social ties are of the laxest description, and the
intermarriage of Gonds, Chamars and other low castes are by no means
infrequent. But notwithstanding these instances, the principle of
the restriction of marriage to members of the caste is so nearly
universal as to be capable of being adopted as a definition.

8. The four traditional castes.

The well-known traditional theory of caste is that the Aryans were
divided from the beginning of time into four castes: Brahmans or
priests, Kshatriyas or warriors, Vaishyas or merchants and cultivators,
and Sudras or menials and labourers, all of whom had a divine origin,
being born from the body of Brahma--the Brahmans from his mouth,
the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vaishyas from his thighs, and the
Sudras from his feet. Intermarriage between the four castes was not
at first entirely prohibited, and a man of any of the three higher
ones, provided that for his first wife he took a woman of his own
caste, could subsequently marry others of the divisions beneath his
own. In this manner the other castes originated. Thus the Kaivarttas
or Kewats were the offspring of a Kshatriya father and Vaishya mother,
and so on. Mixed marriages in the opposite direction, of a woman of
a higher caste with a man of a lower one, were reprobated as strongly
as possible, and the offspring of these were relegated to the lowest
position in society; thus the Chandals, or descendants of a Sudra
father and Brahman mother, were of all men the most base. It has been
recognised that this genealogy, though in substance the formation of
a number of new castes through mixed descent may have been correct,
is, as regards the details, an attempt made by a priestly law-giver
to account, on the lines of orthodox tradition, for a state of society
which had ceased to correspond to them.

9. Occupational theory of caste.

In the ethnographic description of the people of the Punjab, which
forms the Caste chapter of Sir Denzil Ibbetson's _Census Report_ of
1881, it was pointed out that occupation was the chief basis of the
division of castes, and there is no doubt that this is true. Every
separate occupation has produced a distinct caste, and the status of
the caste depends now mainly or almost entirely on its occupation. The
fact that there may be several castes practising such important
callings as agriculture or weaving does not invalidate this in any way,
and instances of the manner in which such castes have been developed
will be given subsequently. If a caste changes its occupation it may,
in the course of time, alter its status in a corresponding degree. The
important Kayasth and Gurao castes furnish instances of this. Castes,
in fact, tend to rise or fall in social position with the acquisition
of land or other forms of wealth or dignity much in the same manner
as individuals do nowadays in European countries. Hitherto in India
it has not been the individual who has undergone the process; he
inherits the social position of the caste in which he is born, and, as
a rule, retains it through life without the power of altering it. It
is the caste, as a whole, or at least one of its important sections
or subcastes, which gradually rises or falls in social position,
and the process may extend over generations or even centuries.

In the _Brief Sketch of the Caste System of the North-Western
Provinces and Oudh_, Mr. J.C. Nesfield puts forward the view that
the whole basis of the caste system is the division of occupations,
and that the social gradation of castes corresponds precisely to
the different periods of civilisation during which their traditional
occupations originated. Thus the lowest castes are those allied to
the primitive occupation of hunting, Pasi, Bhar, Bahelia, because
the pursuit of wild animals was the earliest stage in the development
of human industry. Next above these come the fishing castes, fishing
being considered somewhat superior to hunting, because water is a more
sacred element among Hindus than land, and there is less apparent
cruelty in the capturing of fish than the slaughtering of animals;
these are the Kahars, Kewats, Dhimars and others. Above these come the
pastoral castes--Ghosi, Gadaria, Gujar and Ahir; and above them the
agricultural castes, following the order in which these occupations
were adopted during the progress of civilisation. At the top of the
system stands the Rajput or Chhatri, the warrior, whose duty is to
protect all the lower castes, and the Brahman, who is their priest and
spiritual guide. Similarly, the artisan castes are divided into two
main groups; the lower one consists of those whose occupations preceded
the age of metallurgy, as the Chamars and Mochis or tanners, Koris
or weavers, the Telis or oil-pressers, Kalars or liquor-distillers,
Kumhars or potters, and Lunias or salt-makers. The higher group
includes those castes whose occupations were coeval with the age
of metallurgy, that is, those who work in stone, wood and metals,
and who make clothing and ornaments, as the Barhai or worker in wood,
the Lohar or worker in iron, the Kasera and Thathera, brass-workers,
and the Sunar or worker in the precious metals, ranking precisely in
this order of precedence, the Sunar being the highest. The theory is
still further developed among the trading castes, who are arranged
in a similar manner, beginning from the Banjara or forest trader,
the Kunjra or greengrocer, and the Bharbhunja or grain-parcher,
up to the classes of Banias and Khatris or shopkeepers and bankers.

It can hardly be supposed that the Hindus either consciously or
unconsciously arranged their gradation of society in a scientific
order of precedence in the manner described. The main divisions
of social precedence are correctly stated by Mr. Nesfield, but it
will be suggested in this essay that they arose naturally from the
divisions of the principal social organism of India, the village
community. Nevertheless Mr. Nesfield's book will always rank as a
most interesting and original contribution to the literature of the
subject, and his work did much to stimulate inquiry into the origin
of the caste system.

10. Racial Theory.

In his Introduction to the _Tribes and Castes of Bengal_ Sir Herbert
Risley laid stress on the racial basis of caste, showing that
difference of race and difference of colour were the foundation of
the Indian caste system or division of the people into endogamous
units. There seems reason to suppose that the contact of the
Aryans with the indigenous people of India was, to a large extent,
responsible for the growth of the caste system, and the main racial
divisions may perhaps even now be recognised, though their racial
basis has, to a great extent, vanished. But when we come to individual
castes and subcastes, the scrutiny of their origin, which has been
made in the individual articles, appears to indicate that caste
distinctions cannot, as a rule, be based on supposed difference of
race. Nevertheless Sir H. Risley's _Castes and Tribes of Bengal_ and
_Peoples of India_ will, no doubt, always be considered as standard
authorities, while as Census Commissioner for India and Director of
Ethnography he probably did more to foster this branch of research
in India generally than any other man has ever done.

11. Entry of the Aryans into India. The Aryas and Dasyus.

M. Emile Senart, in his work _Les Castes dans l'Inde_, gives an
admirable sketch of the features marking the entry of the Aryans
into India and their acquisition of the country, from which the
following account is largely taken. The institution of caste as it
is understood at present did not exist among the Aryans of the Vedic
period, on their first entry into India. The word _varna_, literally
'colour,' which is afterwards used in speaking of the four castes,
distinguishes in the Vedas two classes only: there are the Arya Varna
and the Dasa Varna--the Aryan race and the race of enemies. In other
passages the Dasyus are spoken of as black, and Indra is praised
for protecting the Aryan colour. In later literature the black race,
Krishna Varna, are opposed to the Brahmans, and the same word is used
of the distinction between Aryas and Sudras. The word _varna_ was
thus used, in the first place, not of four castes, but of two hostile
races, one white and the other black. It is said that Indra divided
the fields among his white-coloured people after destroying the Dasyus,
by whom may be understood the indigenous barbarian races. [2] The word
Dasyu, which frequently recurs in the Vedas, probably refers to the
people of foreign countries or provinces like the Goim or Gentiles
of the Hebrews. The Dasyus were not altogether barbarians, for they
had cities and other institutions showing a partial civilisation,
though the Aryas, lately from more bracing climes than those which
they inhabited, proved too strong for them. [3] To the Aryans the word
Dasyu had the meaning of one who not only did not perform religious
rites, but attempted to harass their performers. Another verse says,
"Distinguish, O Indra, between the Aryas and those who are Dasyus:
punishing those who perform no religious rites; compel them to
submit to the sacrifices; be thou the powerful, the encourager of
the sacrificer." [4]

Rakshasa was another designation given to the tribes with whom
the Aryans were in hostility. Its meaning is strong, gigantic or
powerful, and among the modern Hindus it is a word for a devil
or demon. In the Satapatha Brahmana of the white Yajur-Veda the
Rakshasas are represented as 'prohibiters,' that is 'prohibiters of
the sacrifice.' [5] Similarly, at a later period, Manu describes
Aryavarrta, or the abode of the Aryas, as the country between the
eastern and western oceans, and between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas,
that is Hindustan, the Deccan being not then recognised as an abode
of the Aryans. And he thus speaks of the country: "From a Brahman born
in Aryavarrta let all men on earth learn their several usages." "That
land on which the black antelope naturally grazes, is held fit for
the performance of sacrifices; but the land of Mlechchhas (foreigners)
is beyond it." "Let the three first classes (Brahmans, Kshatriyas and
Vaishyas) invariably dwell in the above-mentioned countries; but a
Sudra distressed for subsistence may sojourn wherever he chooses." [6]

Another passage states: "If some pious king belonging to the Kshatriya
or some other caste should defeat the Mlechchhas [7] and establish
a settlement of the four castes in their territories, and accept the
Mlechchhas thus defeated as Chandalas (the most impure caste in ancient
Hindu society) as is the case in Aryavarrta, then that country also
becomes fit for sacrifice. For no land is impure of itself. A land
becomes so only by contact." This passage is quoted by a Hindu writer
with the same reference to the Code of Manu as the preceding one,
but it is not found there and appears to be a gloss by a later writer,
explaining how the country south of the Vindhyas, which is excluded by
Manu, should be rendered fit for Aryan settlement. [8] Similarly in
a reference in the Brahmanas to the migration of the Aryans eastward
from the Punjab it is stated that Agni the fire-god flashed forth from
the mouth of a priest invoking him at a sacrifice and burnt across all
the five rivers, and as far as he burnt Brahmans could live. Agni, as
the god of fire by which the offerings were consumed, was addressed as
follows: "We kindle thee at the sacrifice, O wise Agni, the sacrificer,
the luminous, the mighty." [9] The sacrifices referred to were, in the
early period, of domestic animals, the horse, ox or goat, the flesh of
which was partaken of by the worshippers, and the sacred Soma-liquor,
which was drunk by them; the prohibition or discouragement of animal
sacrifices for the higher castes gradually came about at a later time,
and was probably to a large extent due to the influence of Buddhism.

The early sacrifice was in the nature of a communal sacred meal at
which the worshippers partook of the animal or liquor offered to the
god. The Dasyus or indigenous Indian races could not worship the Aryan
gods nor join in the sacrifices offered to them, which constituted
the act of worship. They were a hostile race, but the hostility was
felt and expressed on religious rather than racial grounds, as the
latter term is understood at present.

12. The Sudra.

M. Senart points out that the division of the four castes appearing
in post-Vedic literature, does not proceed on equal lines. There were
two groups, one composed of the three higher castes, and the other
of the Sudras or lowest. The higher castes constituted a fraternity
into which admission was obtained only by a religious ceremony of
initiation and investment with the sacred thread. The Sudras were
excluded and could take no part in sacrifices. The punishment for the
commission of the gravest offences by a Brahman was that he became
a Sudra, that is to say an outcast. The killing of a Sudra was an
offence no more severe than that of killing certain animals. A Sudra
was prohibited by the severest penalties from approaching within a
certain distance of a member of any of the higher castes. In the Sutras
[10] it is declared [11] that the Sudra has not the right (Adhikara)
of sacrifice enjoyed by the Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya. He was
not to be invested with the sacred thread, nor permitted, like them,
to hear, commit to memory, or recite Vedic texts. For listening to
these texts he ought to have his ears shut up with melted lead or
lac by way of punishment; for pronouncing them, his tongue cut out;
and for committing them to memory, his body cut in two. [12] The Veda
was never to be read in the presence of a Sudra; and no sacrifice
was to be performed for him. [13] The Sudras, it is stated in the
Harivansha, are sprung from vacuity, and are destitute of ceremonies,
and so are not entitled to the rites of initiation. Just as upon the
friction of wood, the cloud of smoke which issues from the fire and
spreads around is of no service in the sacrificial rite, so too the
Sudras spread over the earth are unserviceable, owing to their birth,
to their want of initiatory rites, and the ceremonies ordained by the
Vedas. [14] Again it is ordained that silence is to be observed by
parties of the three sacrificial classes when a Sudra enters to remove
their natural defilements, and thus the servile position of the Sudra
is recognised. [15] Here it appears that the Sudra is identified with
the sweeper or scavenger, the most debased and impure of modern Hindu
castes. [16] In the Dharmashastras or law-books it is laid down that
a person taking a Sudra's food for a month becomes a Sudra and after
death becomes a dog. Issue begotten after eating a Sudra's food is of
the Sudra caste. A person who dies with Sudra's food in his stomach
becomes a village pig, or is reborn in a Sudra's family. [17] An
Arya who had sexual intimacy with a Sudra woman was to be banished;
but a Sudra having intimacy with an Arya was to be killed. If a Sudra
reproached a dutiful Arya, or put himself on equality with him on a
road, on a couch or on a seat, he was to be beaten with a stick. [18]
A Brahman might without hesitation take the property of a Sudra; he,
the Sudra, had indeed nothing of his own; his master might, doubtless,
take his property. [19] According to the Mahabharata the Sudras are
appointed servants to the Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. [20]
A Brahman woman having connection with a Sudra was to be devoured by
dogs, but one having connection with a Kshatriya or Vaishya was merely
to have her head shaved and be carried round on an ass. [21] When a
Brahman received a gift from another Brahman he had to acknowledge it
in a loud voice; from a Rajanya or Kshatriya, in a gentle voice; from a
Vaishya, in a whisper; and from a Sudra, in his own mind. To a Brahman
he commenced his thanks with the sacred syllable Om; to a king he gave
thanks without the sacred Om; to a Vaishya he whispered his thanks;
to a Sudra he said nothing, but thought in his own mind, _svasti_,
or 'This is good.' [22] It would thus seem clear that the Sudras
were distinct from the Aryas and were a separate and inferior race,
consisting of the indigenous people of India. In the Atharva-Veda
the Sudra is recognised as distinct from the Arya, and also the
Dasa from the Arya, as in the Rig-Veda. [23] Dr. Wilson remarks,
"The aboriginal inhabitants, again, who conformed to the Brahmanic
law, received certain privileges, and were constituted as a fourth
caste under the name of Sudras, whereas all the rest who kept aloof
were called Dasyus, whatever their language might be." [24] The
Sudras, though treated by Manu and Hindu legislation in general as a
component, if enslaved, part of the Indian community, not entitled to
the second or sacramental birth, are not even once mentioned in the
older parts of the Vedas. They are first locally brought to notice in
the Mahabharata, along with the Abhiras, dwelling on the banks of the
Indus. There are distinct classical notices of the Sudras in this very
locality and its neighbourhood. "In historical times," says Lassen,
"their name reappears in that of the town Sudros on the lower Indus,
and, what is especially worthy of notice, in that of the people Sudroi,
among the Northern Arachosians." [25]

"Thus their existence as a distinct nation is established in the
neighbourhood of the Indus, that is to say in the region in which, in
the oldest time, the Aryan Indians dwelt. The Aryans probably conquered
these indigenous inhabitants first; and when the others in the interior
of the country were subsequently subdued and enslaved, the name Sudra
was extended to the whole servile caste. There seems to have been some
hesitation in the Aryan community about the actual religious position
to be given to the Sudras. In the time of the liturgical Brahmanas
of the Vedas, they were sometimes admitted to take part in the Aryan
sacrifices. Not long afterwards, when the conquests of the Aryans were
greatly extended, and they formed a settled state of society among
the affluents of the Jumna and Ganges, the Sudras were degraded to
the humiliating and painful position which they occupy in Manu. There
is no mention of any of the Sankara or mixed castes in the Vedas." [26]

From the above evidence it seems clear that the Sudras were really
the indigenous inhabitants of India, who were subdued by the Aryans as
they gradually penetrated into India. When the conquering race began
to settle in the land, the indigenous tribes, or such of them as did
not retire before the invaders into the still unconquered interior,
became a class of menials and labourers, as the Amalekites were to the
children of Israel. The Sudras were the same people as the Dasyus of
the hymns, after they had begun to live in villages with the Aryans,
and had to be admitted, though in the most humiliating fashion,
into the Aryan polity. But the hostility between the Aryas and the
Dasyus or Sudras, though in reality racial, was felt and expressed
on religious grounds, and probably the Aryans had no real idea of
what is now understood by difference of race or deterioration of
type from mixture of races. The Sudras were despised and hated as
worshippers of a hostile god. They could not join in the sacrifices
by which the Aryans renewed and cemented their kinship with their god
and with each other; hence they were outlaws towards whom no social
obligations existed. It would have been quite right and proper that
they should be utterly destroyed, precisely as the Israelites thought
that Jehovah had commanded them to destroy the Canaanites. But they
were too numerous, and hence they were regarded as impure and made to
live apart, so that they should not pollute the places of sacrifice,
which among the Aryans included their dwelling-houses. It does not
seem to have been the case that the Aryans had any regard for the
preservation of the purity of their blood or colour. From an early
period men of the three higher castes might take a Sudra woman in
marriage, and the ultimate result has been an almost complete fusion
between the two races in the bulk of the population over the greater
part of the country. Nevertheless the status of the Sudra still
remains attached to the large community of the impure castes formed
from the indigenous tribes, who have settled in Hindu villages and
entered the caste system. These are relegated to the most degrading
and menial occupations, and their touch is regarded as conveying
defilement like that of the Sudras. [27] The status of the Sudras
was not always considered so low, and they were sometimes held to
rank above the mixed castes. And in modern times in Bengal Sudra
is quite a respectable term applied to certain artisan castes which
there have a fairly good position. But neither were the indigenous
tribes always reduced to the impure status. Their fortunes varied,
and those who resisted subjection were probably sometimes accepted as
allies. For instance, some of the most prominent of the Rajput clans
are held to have been derived from the aboriginal [28] tribes. On the
Aryan expedition to southern India, which is preserved in the legend of
Rama, as related in the Ramayana, it is stated that Rama was assisted
by Hanuman with his army of apes. The reference is generally held to
be to the fact that the Aryans had as auxiliaries some of the forest
tribes, and these were consequently allies, and highly thought of,
as shown by the legend and by their identification with the mighty
god Hanuman. And at the present time the forest tribes who live
separately from the Hindus in the jungle tracts are, as a rule, not
regarded as impure. But this does not impair the identification of the
Sudras with those tribes who were reduced to subjection and serfdom
in the Hindu villages, as shown by the evidence here given. The view
has also been held that the Sudras might have been a servile class
already subject to the Aryans, who entered India with them. And in
the old Parsi or Persian community four classes existed, the Athornan
or priest, the Rathestan or warrior, the Vasteriox or husbandman,
and the Hutox or craftsman. [29] The second and third of these names
closely resemble those of the corresponding Hindu classical castes,
the Rajanya or Kshatriya and the Vaishya, while Athornan, the name
for a priest, is the same as Atharvan, the Hindu name for a Brahman
versed in the Atharva-Veda. Possibly then Hutox may be connected with
Sudra, as _h_ frequently changes into _s_. But on the other hand the
facts that the Sudras are not mentioned in the Vedas, and that they
succeeded to the position of the Dasyus, the black hostile Indians,
as well as the important place they fill in the later literature,
seem to indicate clearly that they mainly consisted of the indigenous
subject tribes. Whether the Aryans applied a name already existing
in a servile class among themselves to the indigenous population whom
they subdued, may be an uncertain point.

13. The Vaishya.

In the Vedas, moreover, M. Senart shows that the three higher castes
are not definitely distinguished; but there are three classes--the
priests, the chiefs and the people, among whom the Aryans were
comprised. The people are spoken of in the plural as the clans who
followed the chiefs to battle. The word used is Visha. One verse
speaks of the Vishas (clans) bowing before the chief (Rajan), who was
preceded by a priest (Brahman). Another verse says: "Favour the prayer
(Brahma), favour the service; kill the Rakshasas, drive away the evil;
favour the power (_khatra_) and favour the manly strength; favour the
cow (_dherm_, the representative of property) and favour the people
(or house, _visha_)." [30]

Similarly Wilson states that in the time of the Vedas, _visha_ (related
to _vesha_, a house or district) signified the people in general;
and Vaishya, its adjective, was afterwards applied to a householder,
or that appertaining to an individual of the common people. The Latin
_vicus_ and the Greek o>=ikoc are the correspondents of _vesha_. [31]
The conclusion to be drawn is that the Aryans in the Vedas, like other
early communities, were divided by rank or occupation into three
classes--priests, nobles and the body of the people. The Vishas or
clans afterwards became the Vaishyas or third classical caste. Before
they entered India the Aryans were a migratory pastoral people,
their domestic animals being the horse, cow, and perhaps the sheep
and goat. The horse and cow were especially venerated, and hence were
probably their chief means of support. The Vaishyas must therefore
have been herdsmen and shepherds, and when they entered India and took
to agriculture, the Vaishyas must have become cultivators. The word
Vaishya signifies a man who occupies the soil, an agriculturist, or
merchant. [32] The word Vasteriox used by the ancestors of the Parsis,
which appears to correspond to Vaishya, also signifies a husbandman,
as already seen. Dr. Max Mueller states: "The three occupations of the
Aryas in India were fighting, cultivating the soil and worshipping
the gods. Those who fought the battles of the people would naturally
acquire influence and rank, and their leaders appear in the Veda as
Rajas or kings. Those who did not share in the fighting would occupy a
more humble position; they were called Vish, Vaishyas or householders,
and would no doubt have to contribute towards the maintenance of the
armies. [33] According to Manu, God ordained the tending of cattle,
giving alms, sacrifice, study, trade, usury, and also agriculture
for a Vaishya." [34] The Sutras state that agriculture, the keeping
of cattle, and engaging in merchandise, as well as learning the
Vedas, sacrificing for himself and giving alms, are the duties of a
Vaishya. [35] In the Mahabharata it is laid down that the Vaishyas
should devote themselves to agriculture, the keeping of cattle and
liberality. [36] In the same work the god Vayu says to Bhishma:
"And it was Brahma's ordinance that the Vaishya should sustain the
three castes (Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya) with money and corn;
and that the Sudra should serve them." [37]

In a list of classes or occupations given in the White Yajur-Veda,
and apparently referring to a comparatively advanced state of Hindu
society, tillage is laid down as the calling of the Vaishya, and
he is distinguished from the Vani or merchant, whose occupation is
trade or weighing. [38] Manu states that a Brahman should swear by
truth; a Kshatriya by his steed and his weapons; a Vaishya by his
cows, his seed and his gold; and a Sudra by all wicked deeds. [39]
Yellow is the colour of the Vaishya, and it must apparently be taken
from the yellow corn, and the yellow colour of _ghi_ or butter, the
principal product of the sacred cow; yellow is also the colour of
the sacred metal gold, but there can scarcely have been sufficient
gold in the hands of the body of the people in those early times to
enable it to be especially associated with them. The Vaishyas were
thus, as is shown by the above evidence, the main body of the people
referred to in the Vedic hymns. When these settled down into villages
the Vaishyas became the householders and cultivators, among whom the
village lands were divided; the Sudras or indigenous tribes, who also
lived in the villages or in hamlets adjoining them, were labourers
and given all the most disagreeable tasks in the village community,
as is the case with the impure castes at present.

14. Mistaken modern idea of the Vaishyas.

The demonstration of the real position of the Vaishyas is important,
because the Hindus themselves no longer recognise this. The name
Vaishya is now frequently restricted to the Bania caste of bankers,
shopkeepers and moneylenders, and hence the Banias are often supposed
to be the descendants and only modern representatives of the original
Vaishyas. Evidence has been given in the article on Bania to show that
the existing Bania caste is mainly derived from the Rajputs. The name
Bani, a merchant or trader, is found at an early period, but whether
it denoted a regular Bania caste may be considered as uncertain. In
any case it seems clear that this comparatively small caste, chiefly
coming from Rajputana, cannot represent the Vaishyas, who were the
main body or people of the invading Aryans. At that time the Vaishyas
cannot possibly have been traders, because they alone provided
the means of subsistence of the community, and if they produced
nothing, there could be no material for trade. The Vaishyas must,
therefore, as already seen, have been shepherds and cultivators,
since in early times wealth consisted almost solely of corn and
cattle. At a later period, with the increased religious veneration
for all kinds of life, agriculture apparently fell into some kind of
disrepute as involving the sacrifice of insect life, and there was
a tendency to emphasise trade as the Vaishya's occupation in view
of its greater respectability. It is considered very derogatory for
a Brahman or Rajput to touch the plough with his own hands, and the
act has hitherto involved a loss of status: these castes, however,
did not object to hold land, but, on the contrary, ardently desired
to do so like all other Hindus. Ploughing was probably despised as a
form of manual labour, and hence an undignified action for a member
of the aristocracy, just as a squire or gentleman farmer in England
might consider it beneath his dignity to drive the plough himself. No
doubt also, as the fusion of races proceeded, and bodies of the
indigenous tribes who were cultivators adopted Hinduism, the status
of a cultivator sank to some extent, and his Vaishyan ancestry was
forgotten. But though the Vaishya himself has practically disappeared,
his status as a cultivator and member of the village community appears
to remain in that of the modern cultivating castes, as will be shown

15. Mixed unions of the four classes.

The settlement of the Aryans in India was in villages and not in
towns, and the Hindus have ever since remained a rural people. In
1911 less than a tenth of the population of India was urban, and
nearly three-quarters of the total were directly supported by
agriculture. Apparently, therefore, the basis or embryo of the
gradation of Hindu society or the caste system should be sought
in the village. Two main divisions of the village community may be
recognised in the Vaishyas or cultivators and the Sudras or impure
serfs and labourers. The exact position held by the Kshatriyas and the
constitution of their class are not quite clear, but there is no doubt
that the Brahmans and Kshatriyas formed the early aristocracy, ranking
above the cultivators, and a few other castes have since attained to
this position. From early times, as is shown by an ordinance of Manu,
men of the higher castes or classes were permitted, after taking
a woman of their own class for the first wife, to have second and
subsequent wives from any of the classes beneath them. This custom
appears to have been largely prevalent. No definite rule prescribed
that the children of such unions should necessarily be illegitimate,
and in many cases no doubt seems to exist that, if not they themselves,
their descendants at any rate ultimately became full members of the
caste of the first ancestor. According to Manu, if the child of a
Brahman by a Sudra woman intermarried with Brahmans and his descendants
after him, their progeny in the seventh generation would become full
Brahmans; and the same was the case with the child of a Kshatriya or a
Vaishya with a Sudra woman. A commentator remarks that the descendants
of a Brahman by a Kshatriya woman could attain Brahmanhood in the
third generation, and those by a Vaishya woman in the fifth. [40]
Such children also could inherit. According to the Mahabharata, if
a Brahman had four wives of different castes, the son by a Brahman
wife took four shares, that by a Kshatriya wife three, by a Vaishya
wife two, and by a Sudra wife one share. [41] Manu gives a slightly
different distribution, but also permits to the son by a Sudra wife
a share of the inheritance. [42] Thus the fact is clear that the son
of a Brahman even by a Sudra woman had a certain status of legitimacy
in his father's caste, as he could marry in it, and must therefore
have been permitted to partake of the sacrificial food at marriage;
[43] and he could also inherit a small share of the property.

16. Hypergamy.

The detailed rules prescribed for the status of legitimacy and
inheritance show that recognised unions of this kind between men of a
higher class and women of a lower one were at one time fairly frequent,
though they were afterwards prohibited. And they must necessarily
have led to much mixture of blood in the different castes. A trace
of them seems to survive in the practice of hypergamy, still widely
prevalent in northern India, by which men of the higher subcastes of
a caste will take daughters in marriage from lower ones but will not
give their daughters in return. This custom prevails largely among the
higher castes of the Punjab, as the Rajputs and Khatris, and among the
Brahmans of Bengal. [44] Only a few cases are found in the Central
Provinces, among Brahmans, Sunars and other castes. Occasionally
intermarriage between two castes takes place on a hypergamous basis;
thus Rajputs are said to take daughters from the highest clans of
the cultivating caste of Dangis. More commonly families of the lower
subcastes or clans in the same caste consider the marriage of their
daughters into a higher group a great honour and will give large sums
of money for a bridegroom. Until quite recently a Rajput was bound to
marry his daughters into a clan of equal or higher rank than his own,
in order to maintain the position of his family. It is not easy to
see why so much importance should be attached to the marriage of a
daughter, since she passed into another clan and family, to whom her
offspring would belong. On the other hand, a son might take a wife
from a lower group without loss of status, though his children would
be the future representatives of the family. Another point, possibly
connected with hypergamy, is that a peculiar relation exists between a
man and the family into which his daughter has married. Sometimes he
will accept no food or even water in his son-in-law's village. The
word _sala_, signifying wife's brother, when addressed to a man,
is also a common and extremely offensive term of abuse. The meaning
is now perhaps supposed to be that one has violated the sister of
the person spoken to, but this can hardly have been the original
significance as _sasur_ or father-in-law is also considered in a
minor degree an opprobrious term of address.

17. The mixed castes. The village menials.

But though among the four classical castes it was possible for the
descendants of mixed unions between fathers of higher and mothers of
lower caste to be admitted into their father's caste, this would not
have been the general rule. Such connections were very frequent and
the Hindu classics account through them for the multiplication of
castes. Long lists are given of new castes formed by the children
of mixed marriages. The details of these genealogies seem to be
destitute of any probability, and perhaps, therefore, instances of
them are unnecessary. Matches between a man of higher and a woman of
lower caste were called _anuloma_, or 'with the hair' or 'grain,'
and were regarded as suitable and becoming. Those between a man of
lower and a woman of higher caste were, on the other hand, known as
_pratiloma_ or 'against the hair,' and were considered as disgraceful
and almost incestuous. The offspring of such unions are held to
have constituted the lowest and most impure castes of scavengers,
dog-eaters and so on. This doctrine is to be accounted for by the
necessity of safeguarding the morality of women in a state of society
where kinship is reckoned solely by male descent. The blood of the
tribe and clan, and hence the right to membership and participation
in the communal sacrifices, is then communicated to the child through
the father; hence if the women are unchaste, children may be born
into the family who have no such rights, and the whole basis of
society is destroyed. For the same reason, since the tribal blood
and life is communicated through males, the birth and standing of
the mother are of little importance, and children are, as has been
seen, easily admitted to their father's rank. But already in Manu's
time the later and present view that both the father and mother must
be of full status in the clan, tribe or caste in order to produce a
legitimate child, has begun to prevail, and the children of all mixed
marriages are relegated to a lower group. The offspring of these mixed
unions did probably give rise to a class of different status in the
village community. The lower-caste mother would usually have been
taken into the father's house and her children would be brought up in
it. Thus they would eat the food of the household, even if they did
not participate in the sacrificial feasts; and a class of this kind
would be very useful for the performance of menial duties in and about
the household, such as personal service, bringing water, and so on,
for which the Sudras, owing to their impurity, would be unsuitable. In
the above manner a new grade of village menial might have arisen and
have gradually been extended to the other village industries, so that
a third group would be formed in the village community ranking between
the cultivators and labourers. This gradation of the village community
may perhaps still be discerned in the main social distinctions of the
different Hindu castes at present. And an attempt will now be made
to demonstrate this hypothesis in connection with a brief survey of
the castes of the Province.

18. Social gradation of castes.

An examination of the social status of the castes of the Central
Provinces, which, as already seen, are representative of a great part
of India, shows that they fall into five principal groups. The highest
consists of those castes who now claim to be directly descended from
the Brahmans, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas, the three higher of the four
classical castes. The second comprises what are generally known
as pure or good castes. The principal mark of their caste status
is that a Brahman will take water to drink from them, and perform
ceremonies in their houses. They may be classified in three divisions:
the higher agricultural castes, higher artisan castes, and serving
castes from whom a Brahman will take water. The third group contains
those castes from whose hands a Brahman will not take water; but
their touch does not convey impurity and they are permitted to enter
Hindu temples. They consist mainly of certain cultivating castes
of low status, some of them recently derived from the indigenous
tribes, other functional castes formed from the forest tribes, and
a number of professional and menial castes, whose occupations are
mainly pursued in villages, so that they formerly obtained their
subsistence from grain-payments or annual allowances of grain from
the cultivators at seedtime and harvest. The group includes also some
castes of village priests and mendicant religious orders, who beg
from the cultivators. In the fourth group are placed the non-Aryan
or indigenous tribes. Most of these cannot properly be said to form
part of the Hindu social system at all, but for practical purposes
they are admitted and are considered to rank below all castes except
those who cannot be touched. The lowest group consists of the impure
castes whose touch is considered to defile the higher castes. Within
each group there are minor differences of status some of which will
be noticed, but the broad divisions may be considered as representing
approximately the facts. The rule about Brahmans taking water from
the good agricultural and artisan castes obtains, for instance, only
in northern India. Maratha Brahmans will not take water from any but
other Brahmans, and in Chhattisgarh Brahmans and other high castes
will take water only from the hands of a Rawat (grazier), and from
no other caste. But nevertheless the Kunbis, the great cultivating
caste of the Maratha country, though Brahmans do not take water from
them, are on the same level as the Kurmis, the cultivating caste of
Hindustan, and in tracts where they meet Kunbis and Kurmis are often
considered to be the same caste. The evidence of the statements made
as to the origin of different castes in the following account will
be found in the articles on them in the body of the work.

19. Castes ranking above the cultivators.

The castes of the first group are noted below:

                Kayasth and Prabhu.

The Brahmans are, as they have always been, the highest caste. The
Rajputs are the representatives of the ancient Kshatriyas or second
caste, though the existing Rajput clans are probably derived from
the Hun, Gujar and other invaders of the period before and shortly
after the commencement of the Christian era, and in some cases from
the indigenous or non-Aryan tribes. It does not seem possible to
assert in the case of a single one of the present Rajput clans that
any substantial evidence is forthcoming in favour of their descent
from the Aryan Kshatriyas, and as regards most of the clans there are
strong arguments against such a hypothesis. Nevertheless the Rajputs
have succeeded to the status of the Kshatriyas, and an alternative
name for them, Chhatri, is a corruption of the latter word. They are
commonly identified with the second of the four classical castes,
but a Hindu law-book gives Rajaputra as the offspring of a Kshatriya
father and a mother of the Karan or writer caste. [45] This genealogy
is absurd, but may imply the opinion that the Rajputs were not the
same as the Aryan Kshatriyas. The Khatris are an important mercantile
caste of the Punjab, who in the opinion of most authorities are
derived from the Rajputs. The name is probably a corruption of
Kshatri or Kshatriya. The Banias are the great mercantile, banking
and shopkeeping caste among the Hindus and a large proportion of
the trade in grain and _ghi_ (preserved butter) is in their hands,
while they are also the chief moneylenders. Most of the important
Bania subcastes belonged originally to Rajputana and Central India,
which are also the homes of the Rajputs, and reasons have been given
in the article on Bania for holding that they are derived from the
Rajputs. They, however, are now commonly called Vaishyas by the Hindus,
as, I think, under the mistaken impression that they are descended
from the original Vaishyas. The Bhats are the bards, heralds and
genealogists of India and include groups of very varying status. The
Bhats who act as genealogists of the cultivating and other castes and
accept cooked food from their clients may perhaps be held to rank with
or even below them. But the high-class Bhats are undoubtedly derived
from Brahmans and Rajputs, and rank just below those castes. The bard
or herald had a sacred character, and his person was inviolable like
that of the herald elsewhere, and this has given a special status to
the whole caste. [46] The Kayasths are the writer caste of Hindustan,
and the Karans and Prabhus are the corresponding castes of Orissa and
Bombay. The position of the Kayasths has greatly risen during the last
century on account of their own ability and industry and the advantages
they have obtained through their high level of education. The original
Kayasths may have been village accountants and hence have occupied a
lower position, perhaps below the cultivators. They are an instance of
a caste whose social position has greatly improved on account of the
wealth and importance of its members. At present the Kayasths may be
said to rank next to Brahmans and Rajputs. The origin of the Prabhus
and Karans is uncertain, but their recent social history appears to
resemble that of the Kayasths. The Guraos are another caste whose
position has greatly improved. They were priests of the village
temples of Siva, and accepted the offerings of food which Brahmans
could not take. But they also supplied leaf-plates for festivals,
and were village musicians and trumpeters in the Maratha armies,
and hence probably ranked below the cultivators and were supported
by contributions of grain from them. Their social position has been
raised by their sacred character as priests of the god Siva and they
are now sometimes called Shaiva Brahmans. But a distinct recollection
of their former status exists.

Thus all the castes of the first group are derived from the
representatives of the Brahmans and Kshatriyas, the two highest
of the four classical castes, except the Guraos, who have risen in
status owing to special circumstances. The origin of the Kayasths is
discussed in the article on that caste. Members of the above castes
usually wear the sacred thread which is the mark of the Dwija or
twice-born, the old Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The thread is
not worn generally by the castes of the second group, but the more
wealthy and prominent sections of them frequently assume it.

20. Castes from whom a Brahman can take water. Higher agriculturists.

The second group of good castes from whom a Brahman can take water
falls into three sections as already explained: the higher agricultural
castes, the higher artisans, and the serving or menial castes from
whom a Brahman takes water from motives of convenience. These last
do not properly belong to the second group but to the next lower one
of village menials. The higher agricultural castes or those of the
first section are noted below:

                Mina or Deswali.
                Panwar Rajput.

In this division the Kurmis and Kunbis are the typical agricultural
castes of Hindustan or the plains of northern India, and the Bombay
or Maratha Deccan. Both are very numerous and appear to be purely
occupational bodies. The name Kurmi perhaps signifies a cultivator
or worker. Kunbi may mean a householder. In both castes, groups of
diverse origin seem to have been amalgamated owing to their common
calling. Thus the Kunbis include a subcaste derived from the Banjara
(carriers), another from the Dhangars or shepherds, and a third
from the Manas, a primitive tribe. In Bombay it is considered that
the majority of the Kunbi caste are sprung from the non-Aryan or
indigenous tribes, and this may be the reason why Maratha Brahmans do
not take water from them. But they have now become one caste with a
status equal to that of the other good cultivating castes. In many
tracts of Berar and elsewhere practically all the cultivators of
the village belong to the Kunbi caste, and there is every reason to
suppose that this was once the general rule and that the Kunbis or
'householders' are simply the cultivators of the Maratha country who
lived in village communities. Similarly Sir H. Risley considered that
some Kurmis of Bihar were of the Aryan type, while others of Chota
Nagpur are derived from the indigenous tribes. The Chasas are the
cultivating caste of Orissa and are a similar occupational group. The
word Chasa has the generic meaning of a cultivator, and the caste are
said by Sir H. Risley to be for the most part of non-Aryan origin,
the loose organisation of the caste system among the Uriyas making it
possible on the one hand for outsiders to be admitted into the caste,
and on the other for wealthy Chasas, who gave up ploughing with their
own hands and assumed the respectable title of Mahanti, to raise
themselves to membership among the lower classes of Kayasths. The
Koltas are another Uriya caste, probably an offshoot of the Chasas,
whose name may be derived from the _kulthi_ [47] pulse, a favourite
crop in that locality.

Similarly the Vellalas are the great cultivating caste of the Tamil
country, to whom by general consent the first place in social esteem
among the Tamil Sudra castes is awarded. In the _Madras Census Report_
of 1901 Mr. Francis gives an interesting description of the structure
of the caste and its numerous territorial, occupational and other
subdivisions. He shows also how groups from lower castes continually
succeed in obtaining admission into the Vellala community in the
following passage: "Instances of members of other castes who have
assumed the name and position of Vellalas are the Vettuva Vellalas,
who are only Puluvans; the Illam Vellalas, who are Panikkans;
the Karaiturai (lord of the shore) Vellalas, who are Karaiyans;
the Karukamattai (palmyra leaf-stem) Vellalas, who are Balijas; the
Guha (Rama's boatmen) Vellalas, who are Sembadavans; and the Irkuli
Vellalas, who are Vannans. The children of dancing-girls also often
call themselves Mudali, and claim in time to be Vellalas, and even
Paraiyans assume the title of Pillai and trust to its eventually
enabling them to pass themselves off as members of the caste."

This is an excellent instance of the good status attaching to the
chief cultivating caste of the locality and of the manner in which
other groups, when they obtain possession of the land, strive to get
themselves enrolled in it.

The Jats are the representative cultivating caste of the Punjab. They
are probably the descendants of one of the Scythian invading hordes
who entered India shortly before and after the commencement of the
Christian era. The Scythians, as they were called by Herodotus,
appear to have belonged to the Mongolian racial family, as also did
the white Huns who came subsequently. The Gujar and Ahir castes, as
well as the Jats, and also the bulk of the existing Rajput clans, are
believed to be descended from these invaders; and since their residence
in India has been comparatively short in comparison with their Aryan
predecessors, they have undergone much less fusion with the general
population, and retain a lighter complexion and better features,
as is quite perceptible to the ordinary observer in the case of the
Jats and Rajputs. The Jats have a somewhat higher status than other
agricultural castes, because in the Punjab they were once dominant,
and one or two ruling chiefs belonged to the caste. [48] The bulk of
the Sikhs were also Jats. But in the Central Provinces, where they are
not large landholders, and have no traditions of former dominance,
there is little distinction between them and the Kurmis. The Gujars
for long remained a pastoral freebooting tribe, and their community
was naturally recruited from all classes of vagabonds and outlaws, and
hence the caste is now of a mixed character, and their physical type
is not noticeably distinct from that of other Hindus. Sir G. Campbell
derived the Gujars from the Khazars, a tribe of the same race as the
white Huns and Bulgars who from an early period had been settled in
the neighbourhood of the Caspian. They are believed to have entered
India during the fifth or sixth century. Several clans of Rajputs,
as well as considerable sections of the Ahir and Kunbi castes were,
in his opinion, derived from the Gujars. In the Central Provinces the
Gujars have now settled down into respectable cultivators. The Ahirs
or cowherds and graziers probably take their name from the Abhiras,
another of the Scythian tribes. But they have now become a purely
occupational caste, largely recruited from the indigenous Gonds and
Kawars, to whom the business of tending cattle in the jungles is
habitually entrusted. In the Central Provinces Ahirs live in small
forest villages with Gonds, and are sometimes scarcely considered as
Hindus. On this account they have a character for bucolic stupidity,
as the proverb has it: 'When he is asleep he is an Ahir and when he is
awake he is a fool.' But the Ahir caste generally has a good status
on account of its connection with the sacred cow and also with the
god Krishna, the divine cowherd.

The Marathas are the military caste of the Maratha country, formed
into a caste from the cultivators, shepherds and herdsmen, who took
service under Sivaji and subsequent Maratha leaders. The higher clans
may have been constituted from the aristocracy of the Deccan states,
which was probably of Rajput descent. They have now become a single
caste, ranking somewhat higher than the Kunbis, from whom the bulk
of them originated, on account of their former military and dominant
position. Their status was much the same as that of the Jats in the
Punjab. But the ordinary Marathas are mainly engaged in the subordinate
Government and private service, and there is very little distinction
between them and the Kunbis. The Khandaits or swordsmen (from _khanda_,
a sword) are an Uriya caste, which originated in military service,
and the members of which belonged for the most part to the non-Aryan
Bhuiya tribe. They were a sort of rabble, half military and half
police, Sir H. Risley states, who formed the levies of the Uriya
zamindars. They have obtained grants of land, and their status has
improved. "In the social system of Orissa the Sreshta (good) Khandaits
rank next to the Rajputs, who are comparatively few in number, and
have not that intimate connection with the land which has helped to
raise the Khandaits to their present position." [49] The small Rautia
landholding caste of Chota Nagpur, mainly derived from the Kol tribe,
was formed from military service, and obtained a higher status with
the possession of the land exactly like the Khandaits.

Several Rajput clans, as the Panwars of the Wainganga Valley,
the Raghuvansis, the Jadums derived from the Yadava clan, and the
Daharias of Chhattisgarh, have formed distinct castes, marrying among
themselves. A proper Rajput should not marry in his own clan. These
groups have probably in the past taken wives from the surrounding
population, and they can no longer be held to belong to the Rajput
caste proper, but rank as ordinary agricultural castes. Other
agricultural castes have probably been formed through mixed descent
from Rajputs and the indigenous races. The Agharias of Sambalpur say
they are sprung from a clan of Rajputs near Agra, who refused to bend
their heads before the king of Delhi. He summoned all the Agharias to
appear before him, and fixed a sword across the door at the height
of a man's neck. As the Agharias would not bend their heads they
were as a natural consequence all decapitated as they passed through
the door. Only one escaped, who had bribed a Chamar to go instead
of him. He and his village fled from Agra and came to Chhattisgarh,
where they founded the Agharia caste. And, in memory of this, when an
Agharia makes a libation to his ancestors, he first pours a little
water on the ground in honour of the dead Chamar. Such stories may
be purely imaginary, or may contain some substratum of truth, as that
the ancestors of the caste were Rajputs, who took wives from Chamars
and other low castes. The Kirars are another caste with more or less
mixed descent from Rajputs. They are also called Dhakar, and this
means one of illegitimate birth. The Bhilalas are a caste formed of the
offspring of mixed alliances between Rajputs and Bhils. In many cases
in Nimar Rajput immigrants appear to have married the daughters of Bhil
chieftains and landholders, and succeeded to their estates. Thus the
Bhilalas include a number of landed proprietors, and the caste ranks as
a good agricultural caste, from whom Brahmans will take water. Among
the other indigenous tribes, several of which have in the Central
Provinces retained the possession of large areas of land and great
estates in the wilder forest tracts, a subcaste has been formed of
the landholding members of the tribe. Such are the Raj-Gonds among
the Gonds, the Binjhals among Baigas, and the Tawar subtribe of the
Kawar tribe of Bilaspur, to which all the zamindars [50] belong. These
last now claim to be Tomara Rajputs, on the basis of the similarity
of the name. These groups rank with the good agricultural castes,
and Brahmans sometimes consent to take water from them. The Dangis
of Saugor appear to be the descendants of a set of freebooters in the
Vindhyan hills, much like the Gujars in northern India. The legend of
their origin is given in Sir B. Robertson's _Census Report_ of 1891:
"The chief of Garhpahra or old Saugor detained the palanquins of
twenty-two married women and kept them as his wives. The issue of the
illicit intercourse were named Dangis, and there are thus twenty-two
subdivisions of these people. There are also three other subdivisions
who claim descent from pure Rajputs, and who will take daughters
in marriage from the remaining twenty-two, but will not give their
daughters to them." Thus the Dangis appear to have been a mixed group,
recruiting their band from all classes of the population, with some
Rajputs as leaders. The name probably means hillman, from _dang_, a
hill. _Khet men bami, gaon men Dangi_ or 'A Dangi in the village is
like the hole of a snake in one's field,' is a proverb showing the
estimation in which they were formerly held. They obtained estates
in Saugor and a Dangi dynasty formerly governed part of the District,
and they are now highly respectable cultivators. The Minas or Deswalis
belonged to the predatory Mina tribe of Rajputana, but a section of
them have obtained possession of the land in Hoshangabad and rank as a
good agricultural caste. The Lodhas of the United Provinces are placed
lowest among the agricultural castes by Mr. Nesfield, who describes
them as little better than a forest tribe. The name is perhaps derived
from the bark of the _lodh_ tree, which was collected by the Lodhas
of northern India and sold for use as a dyeing agent. In the Central
Provinces the name has been changed to Lodhi, and they are said to
have been brought into the District by a Raja of the Gond-Rajput
dynasty of Mandla in the seventeenth century, and given large grants
of waste land in the interior in order that they might clear it of
forest. They have thus become landholders, and rank with the higher
agricultural castes. They are addressed as Thakur, a title applied
to Rajputs, and Lodhi landowners usually wear the sacred thread.

21. Status of the cultivator.

The above details have been given to show how the different
agricultural castes originated. Though their origin is so diverse they
have, to a great extent, the same status, and it seems clear that this
status is dependent on their possession of the land. In the tracts
where they reside they are commonly village proprietors and superior
tenants. Those who rank a little higher than the others, as the Jats,
Marathas, Dangis and Lodhis, include in their body some ruling chiefs
or large landed proprietors, and as a rule were formerly dominant
in the territory in which they are found. In primitive agricultural
communities the land is the principal, if not almost the sole,
source of wealth. Trade in the modern sense scarcely exists, and what
interchange of commodities there is affects, as a rule, only a trifling
fraction of the population. India's foreign trade is mainly the
growth of the last century, and the great bulk of the exports are of
agricultural produce, yet in proportion to the population the trading
community is still extremely small. It thus seems quite impossible that
the Aryans could have been a community of priests, rulers and traders,
because such a community would not have had means of subsistence. And
if the whole production and control of the wealth and food of the
community had been in the hands of the Sudras, they could not have
been kept permanently in their subject, degraded position. The flocks
and herds and the land, which constituted the wealth of early India,
must thus have been in the possession of the Vaishyas; and grounds of
general probability, as well as the direct evidence already produced,
make it clear that they were the herdsmen and cultivators, and the
Sudras the labourers. The status of the modern cultivators seems to
correspond to that of the Vaishyas, that is, of the main body of the
Aryan people, who were pure and permitted to join in sacrifices. The
status, however, no longer attaches to origin, but to the possession of
the land; it is that of a constituent member of the village community,
corresponding to a citizen of the city states of Greece and Italy. The
original Vaishyas have long disappeared; the Brahmans themselves say
that there are no Kshatriyas and no Vaishyas left, and this seems to be
quite correct. But the modern good cultivating castes retain the status
of the Vaishyas as the Rajputs retain that of the Kshatriyas. The case
of the Jats and Gujars supports this view. These two castes are almost
certainly derived from Scythian nomad tribes, who entered India long
after the Vedic Aryans. And there is good reason to suppose that a
substantial proportion, if not the majority, of the existing Rajput
clans were the leaders or aristocracy of the Jats and Gujars. Thus it
is found that in the case of these later tribes the main body were
shepherds and cultivators, and their descendants have the status
of good cultivating castes at present, while the leaders became the
Rajputs, who have the status of the Kshatriyas; and it therefore seems
a reasonable inference that the same had previously been the case with
the Aryans themselves. It has been seen that the word Visha or Vaishya
signified one of the people or a householder. The name Kunbi appears
to have the same sense, its older form being _kutumbika_, which is
a householder or one who has a family, [51] a _pater familias_.

22. The clan and the village.

It has been seen also that Visha in the plural signified clans. The
clan was the small body which lived together, and in the patriarchal
stage was connected by a tie of kinship held to be derived from a
common ancestor. Thus it is likely that the clans settled down in
villages, the cultivators of one village being of the same exogamous
clan. The existing system of exogamy affords evidence in favour of this
view, as will be seen. All the families of the clan had cultivating
rights in the land, and were members of the village community; and
there were no other members, unless possibly a Kshatriya headman or
leader. The Sudras were their labourers and serfs, with no right to
hold land, and a third intermediate class of village menials gradually
grew up.

The law of Mirasi tenures in Madras is perhaps a survival of the
social system of the early village community. Under it only a few
of the higher castes were allowed to hold land, and the monopoly was
preserved by the rule that the right of taking up waste lands belonged
primarily to the cultivators of the adjacent holdings; no one else
could acquire land unless he first bought them out. The pariahs or
impure castes were not allowed to hold land at all. This rule was
pointed out by Mr. Slocock, and it is also noticed by Sir Henry Maine:
"There are in Central and Southern India certain villages to which a
class of persons is hereditarily attached, in such a manner that they
form no part of the natural and organic aggregate to which the bulk
of the villagers belong. These persons are looked upon as essentially
impure; they never enter the village, or only enter reserved portions
of it; and their touch is avoided as contaminating. Yet they bear
extremely plain marks of their origin. Though they are not included
in the village, they are an appendage solidly connected with it;
they have definite village duties, one of which is the settlement of
boundaries, on which their authority is allowed to be conclusive. They
evidently represent a population of alien blood whose lands have been
occupied by the colonists or invaders forming the community." [52]
Elsewhere, Sir Henry Maine points out that in many cases the outsiders
were probably admitted to the possession of land, but on an inferior
tenure to the primary holders or freemen who formed the cultivating
body of the village; and suggests that this may have been the ground
for the original distinction between occupancy and non-occupancy
tenants. The following extract from a description of the Maratha
villages by Grant Duff [53] may be subjoined to this passage:
"The inhabitants are principally cultivators, and are now either
Mirasidars or Ooprees. These names serve to distinguish the tenure
by which they hold their lands. The Oopree is a mere tenant-at-will,
but the Mirasidar is a hereditary occupant whom the Government cannot
displace so long as he pays the assessment on his field. With various
privileges and distinctions in his village of minor consequence,
the Mirasidar has the important power of selling or transferring his
right of occupancy at pleasure. It is a current opinion in the Maratha
country that all the lands were originally of this description."

As regards the internal relations of clans and village groups, Sir
H. Maine states: "The men who composed the primitive communities
believed themselves to be kinsmen in the most literal sense of
the word; and, surprising as it may seem, there are a multitude of
indications that in one stage of thought they must have regarded
themselves as equals. When these primitive bodies first make their
appearance as landowners, as claiming an exclusive enjoyment in a
definite area of land, not only do their shares of the soil appear to
have been originally equal, but a number of contrivances survive for
preserving the equality, of which the most frequent is the periodical
redistribution of the tribal domain." [54] Similarly Professor
Hearn states: "The settlement of Europe was made by clans. Each
clan occupied a certain territory--much, I suppose, as an Australian
squatter takes up new country. The land thus occupied was distributed
by metes and bounds to each branch of the clan; the remainder, if any,
continuing the property of the clan." [55] And again: "In those cases
where the land had been acquired by conquest there were generally
some remains of the conquered population who retained more or less
interest in the lands that had once been their own. But as between
the conquerors themselves it was the clansmen, and the clansmen only,
who were entitled to derive any advantage from the land that the clan
had acquired. The outsiders, the men who lived with the clan but were
not of the clan, were no part of the folk, and had no share in the
folkland. No services rendered, no participation in the common danger,
no endurance of the burden and heat of the day, could create in an
outsider any colour of right. Nothing short of admission to the clan,
and of initiation in its worship, could enable him to demand as of
right the grass of a single cow or the wood for a single fire." [56]

23. The ownership of land.

Thus it appears that the cultivating community of each village
constituted an exogamous clan, the members of which believed themselves
to be kinsmen. When some caste or tribe occupied a fresh area of land
they were distributed by clans in villages, over the area, all the
cultivators of a village being of one caste or tribe, as is still
the case with the Kunbis in Berar. Sometimes several alien castes or
groups became amalgamated into a single caste, such as the Kurmis and
Kunbis; in others they either remained as a separate caste or became
one. When the non-Aryan tribes retained possession of the land, there
is every reason to suppose that they also were admitted into Hinduism,
and either constituted a fresh caste with the cultivating status, or
were absorbed into an existing one with a change of name. Individual
ownership of land was probably unknown. The _patel_ or village headman,
on whom proprietary right was conferred by the British Government,
certainly did not possess it previously. He was simply the spokesman
and representative of the village community in its dealings with the
central or ruling authority. But it seems scarcely likely either that
the village community considered itself to own the land. Cases in
which the community as a corporate body has exercised any function
of ownership other than that of occupying and cultivating the soil,
if recorded at all, must be extremely rare, and I do not know that
any instance is given by Sir Henry Maine. A tutelary village god
is to be found as a rule in every Hindu village. In the Central
Provinces the most common is Khermata, that is the goddess of the
village itself or the village lands. She is a form of Devi, the
general earth-goddess. When a village is founded the first thing to
be done is to install the village god. Thus the soil of the village
is venerated as a goddess, and it seems doubtful whether the village
community considered itself the owner. In the Maratha Districts,
Hanuman or Mahabir, the monkey god, is the tutelary deity of the
village. His position seems to rest on the belief of the villagers
that the monkeys were the lords and owners of the soil before their own
arrival. For the worship of these and the other village gods there is
usually a village priest, known as Bhumka, Bhumia, Baiga or Jhankar,
who is taken from the non-Aryan tribes. The reason for his appointment
seems to be that the Hindus still look on themselves to some extent
as strangers and interlopers in relation to the gods of the earth and
the village, and consider it necessary to approach these through the
medium of one of their predecessors. The words Bhumka and Bhumia both
mean lord of the soil, or belonging to the soil. As already seen,
the authority of some menial official belonging to the indigenous
tribes is accepted as final in cases of disputed boundaries, the idea
being apparently that as his ancestors first occupied the village,
he has inherited from them the knowledge of its true extent and
limits. All these points appear to tell strongly against the view
that the Hindu village community considered itself to own the village
land as we understand the phrase. They seem to have looked on the
land as a god, and often their own tutelary deity and protector. What
they held themselves to possess was a right of occupancy, in virtue
of prescriptive settlement, not subject to removal or disturbance,
and transmitted by inheritance to persons born into the membership of
the village community. Under the Muhammadans the idea that the state
ultimately owned the land may have been held, but prior to them the
existence of such a belief is doubtful. The Hindu king did not take
rent for land, but a share of the produce for the support of his
establishments. The Rajput princes did not call themselves after
the name of their country, but of its capital town, as if their own
property consisted only in the town, as Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur,
instead of Marwar, Dhundhar and Mewar. Just as the village has a
priest of the non-Aryan tribes for propitiating the local gods, so
the Rajput chief at his accession was often inducted to the royal
cushion by a Bhil or Mina, and received the badge of investiture as
if he had to obtain his title from these tribes. Indeed the right
of the village community to the land was held sometimes superior to
that of the state. Sir J. Malcolm relates that he was very anxious to
get the village of Bassi in Indore State repopulated when it had lain
waste for thirty-six years. He had arranged with the Bhil headman of
a neighbouring village to bring it under cultivation on a favourable
lease. The plan had other advantages, and Holkar's minister was most
anxious to put it into execution, but said that this could not be done
until every possible effort had been made to discover whether any
descendant of the former _patel_ or of any _watandar_ or hereditary
cultivator of Bassi was still in existence; for if such were found,
he said, "even we Marathas, bad as we are, cannot do anything which
interferes with their rights." None such being found at the time, the
village was settled as proposed by Malcolm; but some time afterwards,
a boy was discovered who was descended from the old _patel's_ family,
and he was invited to resume the office of headman of the village of
his forefathers, which even the Bhil, who had been nominated to it,
was forward to resign to the rightful inheritor. [57] Similarly the
Maratha princes, Sindhia, Holkar and others, are recorded to have
set more store by the headship of the insignificant Deccan villages,
which were the hereditary offices of their families, than by the
great principalities which they had carved out for themselves with
the sword. The former defined and justified their position in the
world as the living link and representative of the continuous family
comprising all their ancestors and all their descendants; the latter
was at first regarded merely as a transient, secular possession,
and a source of wealth and profit. This powerful hereditary right
probably rested on a religious basis. The village community was
considered to be bound up with its village god in one joint life,
and hence no one but they could in theory have the right to cultivate
the lands of that village. The very origin and nature of this right
precluded any question of transfer or alienation. The only lands in
which any ownership, corresponding to our conception of the term,
was held to exist, were perhaps those granted free of revenue for
the maintenance of temples, which were held to be the property of the
god. In Rome and other Greek and Latin cities the idea of private or
family ownership of land also developed from a religious sentiment. It
was customary to bury the dead in the fields which they had held,
and here the belief was that their spirits remained and protected
the interests of the family. Periodical sacrifices were made to them
and they participated in all the family ceremonies. Hence the land
in which the tombs of ancestors were situated was held to belong to
the family, and could not be separated from it. [58] Gradually, as
the veneration for the spirits of ancestors decayed, the land came
to be regarded as the private property of the family, and when this
idea had been realised it was made alienable, though not with the same
freedom as personal property. But the word _pecunia_ for money, from
_pecus_ a flock, like the Hindi _dhan_, which means wealth and also
flocks of goats and sheep, and feudal from the Gaelic _fiu_, cattle,
point to conditions of society in which land was not considered a
form of private property or wealth. M. Fustel de Coulanges notices
other primitive races who did not recognise property in land:
"The Tartars understand the term property as applying to cattle,
but not as applying to land. According to some authors, among the
ancient Germans there was no ownership of land; every year each member
of the tribe received a holding to cultivate, and the holding was
changed in the following year. The German owned the crop; he did not
own the soil. The same was the case among a part of the Semitic race
and certain of the Slav peoples." [59] In large areas of the Nigeria
Protectorate at present, land has no exchangeable value at all; but
by the native system of taxation a portion of the produce is taken
in consideration of the right of use. [60] In ancient Arabia 'Baal'
meant the lord of some place or district, that is, a local deity,
and hence came to mean a god. Land naturally moist was considered as
irrigated by a god and the special place or habitation of the god. To
the numerous Canaanite Baalims, or local deities, the Israelites
ascribed all the natural gifts of the land, the corn, the wine, and
the oil, the wool and the flax, the vines and fig trees. Pasture land
was common property, but a man acquired rights in the soil by building
a house, or, by 'quickening' a waste place, that is, bringing it under
cultivation. [61] The Israelites thought that they derived their title
to the land of Canaan from Jehovah, having received it as a gift
from Him. The association of rights over the land with cultivation
and building, pointed out by Professor Robertson Smith, may perhaps
explain the right over the village lands which was held to appertain
to the village community. They had quickened the land and built houses
on it, establishing the local village deity on their village sites,
and it was probably thought that their life was bound up with that of
the village god, and only they had a right to cultivate his land. This
would explain the great respect shown by the Marathas for hereditary
title to land, as seen above; a feeling which must certainly have been
based on some religious belief, and not on any moral idea of equity
or justice; no such deep moral principle was possible in the Hindu
community at the period in question. The Hindu religious conception of
rights to land was thus poles apart from the secular English law of
proprietary and transferable right, and if the native feeling could
have been, understood by the early British administrators the latter
would perhaps have been introduced only in a much modified form.

24. The cultivating status that of the Vaishya.

The suggested conclusion from the above argument is that the main
body of the Aryan immigrants, that is the Vaishyas, settled down in
villages by exogamous clans or septs. The cultivators of each village
believed themselves to be kinsmen descended from a common ancestor, and
also to be akin to the god of the village lands from which they drew
their sustenance. Hence their order had an equal right to cultivate
the village land and their children to inherit it, though they did
not conceive of the idea of ownership of land in the sense in which
we understand this phrase.

The original status of the Vaishya, or a full member of the Aryan
community who could join in sacrifices and employ Brahmans to perform
them, was gradually transferred to the cultivating member of the
village communities. In process of time, as land was the chief source
of wealth, and was also regarded as sacred, the old status became
attached to castes or groups of persons who obtained or held land
irrespective of their origin, and these are what are now called the
good cultivating castes. They have now practically the same status,
though, as has been seen, they were originally of most diverse origin,
including bands of robbers and freebooters, cattle-lifters, non-Aryan
tribes, and sections of any castes which managed to get possession
of an appreciable quantity of land.

25. Higher professional and artisan castes.

The second division of the group of pure or good castes, or those from
whom a Brahman can take water, comprises the higher artisan castes:


The most important of these are the Sunar or goldsmith; the Kasar
or worker in brass and bell-metal; the Tamera or coppersmith; the
Barhai or carpenter; and the Halwai and Bharbhunja or confectioner
and grain-parcher. The Sansia or stone-mason of the Uriya country
may perhaps also be included. These industries represent a higher
degree of civilisation than the village trades, and the workers may
probably have been formed into castes at a later period, when the
practice of the handicrafts was no longer despised. The metal-working
castes are now usually urban, and on the average their members are
as well-to-do as the cultivators. The Sunars especially include a
number of wealthy men, and their importance is increased by their
association with the sacred metal, gold; in some localities they
now claim to be Brahmans and refuse to take food from Brahmans. [62]
The more ambitious members abjure all flesh-food and liquor and wear
the sacred thread. But in Bombay the Sunar was in former times one
of the village menial castes, and here, before and during the time
of the Peshwas, Sunars were not allowed to wear the sacred thread,
and they were forbidden to hold their marriages in public, as it was
considered unlucky to see a Sunar bridegroom. Sunar bridegrooms were
not allowed to see the state umbrella or to ride in a palanquin, and
had to be married at night and in secluded places, being subject to
restrictions and annoyances from which even Mahars were free. Thus
the goldsmith's status appears to vary greatly according as his
trade is a village or urban industry. Copper is also a sacred metal,
and the Tameras rank next to the Sunars among the artisan castes,
with the Kasars or brass-workers a little below them; both these
castes sometimes wearing the sacred thread. These classes of artisans
generally live in towns. The Barhai or carpenter is sometimes a village
menial, but most carpenters live in towns, the wooden implements of
agriculture being made either by the blacksmith or by the cultivators
themselves. Where the Barhai is a village menial he is practically
on an equality with the Lohar or blacksmith; but the better-class
carpenters, who generally live in towns, rank higher. The Sansia or
stone-mason of the Uriya country works, as a rule, only in stone,
and in past times therefore his principal employment must have been
to build temples. He could not thus be a village menial, and his
status would be somewhat improved by the sanctity of his calling. The
Halwai and Bharbhunja or confectioner and grain-parcher are castes of
comparatively low origin, especially the latter; but they have to be
given the status of ceremonial purity in order that all Hindus may be
able to take sweets and parched grain from their hands. Their position
resembles that of the barber and waterman, the pure village menials,
which will be discussed later. In Bengal certain castes, such as the
Tanti or weaver of fine muslin, the Teli or oil-presser, and the Kumhar
or potter, rank with the ceremonially pure castes. Their callings
have there become important urban industries. Thus the Tantis made the
world-renowned fine muslins of Dacca; and the Jagannathia Kumhars of
Orissa provide the earthen vessels used for the distribution of rice
to all pilgrims at the temple of Jagannath. These castes and certain
others have a much higher rank than that of the corresponding castes
in northern and Central India, and the special reasons indicated seem
to account for this. Generally the artisan castes ranking on the same
or a higher level than the cultivators are urban and not rural. They
were not placed in a position of inferiority to the cultivators by
accepting contributions of grain and gifts from them, and this perhaps
accounts for their higher position. One special caste may be noticed
here, the Vidurs, who are the descendants of Brahman fathers by women
of other castes. These, being of mixed origin, formerly had a very
low rank, and worked as village accountants and patwaris. Owing to
their connection with Brahmans, however, they are a well-educated
caste, and since education has become the door to all grades of
advancement in the public service, the Vidurs have taken advantage
of it, and many of them are clerks of offices or hold higher posts
under Government. Their social status has correspondingly improved;
they dress and behave like Brahmans, and in some localities it is
said that even Maratha Brahmans will take water to drink from Vidurs,
though they will not take it from the cultivating castes. There are
also several menial or serving castes from whom a Brahman can take
water, forming the third class of this group, but their real rank is
much below that of the cultivators, and they will be treated in the
next group.

26. Castes from whom a Brahman cannot take water; the village menials.

The third main division consists of those castes from whom a
Brahman cannot take water, though they are not regarded as impure
and are permitted to enter Hindu temples. The typical castes of this
group appear to be the village artisans and menials and the village
priests. The annexed list shows the principal of these.

_Village menials_.

    Bari--Leaf-plate maker.
    Bargah--Household servant.
    Basor or Dhulia--Village musician.
    Bhat and Mirasi--Bard and genealogist.
    Halba--House-servant and farm-servant.

_Castes of village watchmen_.


_Village priests and mendicants_.


    Basdewa                 Wandering priests and mendicants.


    Mali--Gardener and maker of garlands.
    Barai--Betel-vine grower and seller.

_Other village traders and artisans_.


    Manihar                 Pedlar.


    Pardhi                  Fowlers and hunters.

    Chhipa--Calico-printer and dyer.
    Chitrakathi--Painter and picture-maker.
    Kachera--Glass bangle-maker.

    Dhangar                 Shepherds.

    Murha                   Diggers, navvies, and salt-refiners.

The essential fact which formerly governed the status of this group
of castes appears to be that they performed various services for the
cultivators according to their different vocations, and were supported
by contributions of grain made to them by the cultivators, and by
presents given to them at seed-time and harvest. They were the clients
of the cultivators and the latter were their patrons and supporters,
and hence ranked above them. This condition of things survives only
in the case of a few castes, but prior to the introduction of a metal
currency must apparently have been the method of remuneration of all
the village industries. The Lohar or blacksmith makes and mends the
iron implements of agriculture, such as the ploughshare, axe, sickle
and goad. For this he is paid in Saugor a yearly contribution of 20
lbs. of grain per plough of land held by each cultivator, together with
a handful of grain at sowing-time and a sheaf at harvest from both the
autumn and spring crops. In Wardha he gets 50 lbs. of grain per plough
of four bullocks or 40 acres. For new implements he must either be
paid separately or at least supplied with the iron and charcoal. In
Districts where the Barhai or carpenter is a village servant he is
paid the same as the Lohar and has practically an equal status. The
village barber receives in Saugor 20 lbs. of grain annually from each
adult male in the family, or 22 1/2 lbs. per plough of land besides
the seasonal presents. In return for this he shaves each cultivator
over the head and face about once a fortnight. The Dhobi or washerman
gets half the annual contribution of the blacksmith and carpenter, with
the same presents, and in return for this he washes the clothes of the
family two or three times a month. When he brings the clothes home he
also receives a meal or a wheaten cake, and well-to-do families give
him their old clothes as a present. The Dhimar or waterman brings water
to the house morning and evening, and fills the earthen water-pots
placed on a wooden stand or earthen platform outside it. When the
cultivators have marriages he performs the same duties for the whole
wedding party, and receives a present of money and clothes according to
the means of the family, and his food every day while the wedding is
in progress. He supplies water for drinking to the reapers, receiving
three sheaves a day as payment, and takes sweet potatoes and boiled
plums to the field and sells them. The Kumhar or potter is not now paid
regularly by dues from the cultivators like other village menials,
as the ordinary system of sale has been found to be more convenient
in his case. But he sometimes takes for use the soiled grass from
the stalls of the cattle and gives pots free to the cultivator in
exchange. On Akti day, at the beginning of the agricultural year,
the village Kumhar in Saugor presents five pots with covers on them
to each cultivator and is given 2 1/2 lbs. of grain. He presents the
bride with seven new pots at a wedding, and these are filled with
water and used in the ceremony, being considered to represent the
seven seas. At a funeral he must supply thirteen vessels which are
known as _ghats_, and must replace the household earthen vessels,
which are rendered impure on the occurrence of a death in the house,
and are all broken and thrown away. In the Punjab and Maratha country
the Kumhar was formerly an ordinary village menial.

27. The village watchmen.

The office of village watchman is an important one, and is usually
held by a member of the indigenous tribes. These formerly were the
chief criminals, and the village watchman, in return for his pay,
was expected to detect the crimes of his tribesmen and to make good
any losses of property caused by them. The sections of the tribes who
held this office have developed into special castes, as the Khangars,
Chadars and Chauhans of Chhattisgarh. These last are probably of
mixed descent from Rajputs and the higher castes of cultivators with
the indigenous tribes. The Dahaits were a caste of gatekeepers and
orderlies of native rulers who have now become village watchmen. The
Pankas are a section of the impure Ganda caste who have embraced the
doctrines of the Kabirpanthi sect and formed a separate caste. They
are now usually employed as village watchmen and are not regarded as
impure. Similarly those members of the Mahar servile caste who are
village watchmen tend to marry among themselves and form a superior
group to the others. The village watchman now receives a remuneration
fixed by Government and is practically a rural policeman, but in former
times he was a village menial and was maintained by the cultivators
in the same manner as the others.

28. The village priests. The gardening castes.

The village priests are another class of this group. The regular
village priest and astrologer, the Joshi or Parsai, is a Brahman, but
the occupation has developed a separate caste. The Joshi officiates
at weddings in the village, selects auspicious names for children
according to the constellations under which they were born, and points
out the auspicious moment or _mahurat_ for weddings, name-giving
and other ceremonies, and for the commencement of such agricultural
operations as sowing, reaping, and threshing. He is also sometimes
in charge of the village temple. He is supported by contributions of
grain from the villagers and often has a plot of land rent-free from
the proprietor. The social position of the Joshis is not very good,
and, though Brahmans, they are considered to rank somewhat below the
cultivating castes. The Gurao is another village priest, whose fortune
has been quite different. The caste acted as priests of the temples
of Siva and were also musicians and supplied leaf-plates. They were
village menials of the Maratha villages. But owing to the sanctity
of their calling, and the fact that they have become literate
and taken service under Government, the Guraos now rank above the
cultivators and are called Shaiva Brahmans. The Gondhalis are the
village priests of Devi, the earth-goddess, who is also frequently
the tutelary goddess of the village. They play the kettle-drum and
perform dances in her honour, and were formerly classed as one of
the village menials of Maratha villages, though they now work for
hire. The Garpagari, or hail-averter, is a regular village menial, his
duty being to avert hail-storms from the crops, like the qalazof'ulax
in ancient Greece. The Garpagaris will accept cooked food from Kunbis
and celebrate their weddings with those of the Kunbis. The Jogis,
Manbhaos, Satanis, and others, are wandering religious mendicants, who
act as priests and spiritual preceptors to the lower classes of Hindus.

With the village priests may be mentioned the Mali or gardener. The
Malis now grow vegetables with irrigation or ordinary crops, but
this was not apparently their original vocation. The name is derived
from _mala_, a garland, and it would appear that the Mali was first
employed to grow flowers for the garlands with which the gods and
also their worshippers were adorned at religious ceremonies. Flowers
were held sacred and were an essential adjunct to worship in India
as in Greece and Rome. The sacred flowers of India are the lotus,
the marigold and the _champak_ [63] and from their use in religious
worship is derived the custom of adorning the guests with garlands at
all social functions, just as in Rome and Greece they wore crowns on
their heads. It seems not unlikely that this was the purpose for which
cultivated flowers were first grown, at any rate in India. The Mali
was thus a kind of assistant in the religious life of the village,
and he is still sometimes placed in charge of the village shrines and
is employed as temple-servant in Jain temples. He would therefore
have been supported by contributions from the cultivators like the
other village menials and have ranked below them, though on account
of the purity and sanctity of his occupation Brahmans would take
water from him. The Mali has now become an ordinary cultivator, but
his status is still noticeably below that of the good cultivating
castes and this seems to be the explanation. With the Mali may be
classed the Barai, the grower and seller of the _pan_ or betel-vine
leaf. This leaf, growing on a kind of creeper, like the vine, in
irrigated gardens roofed with thatch for protection from the sun,
is very highly prized by the Hindus. It is offered with areca-nut,
cloves, cardamom and lime rolled up in a quid to the guests at all
social functions. It is endowed by them with great virtues, being
supposed to prevent heartburn, indigestion, and other stomachic and
intestinal disorders, and to preserve the teeth, while taken with
musk, saffron and almonds, the betel-leaf is held to be a strong
aphrodisiac. The juice of the leaf stains the teeth and mouth red,
and the effect, though repulsive to Europeans, is an indispensable
adjunct to a woman's beauty in Hindu eyes. This staining of the mouth
red with betel-leaf is also said to distinguish a man from a dog. The
idea that betel preserves the teeth seems to be unfounded. The teeth of
Hindus appear to be far less liable to decay than those of Europeans,
but this is thought to be because they generally restrict themselves
to a vegetable diet and always rinse out their mouths with water after
taking food. The betel-leaf is considered sacred; a silver ornament
is made in its shape and it is often invoked in spells and magic. The
original vine is held to have grown from a finger-joint of Basuki,
the Queen of the Serpents, and the cobra is worshipped as the tutelary
deity of the _pan_-garden, which this snake is accustomed to frequent,
attracted by the moist coolness and darkness. The position of the
Barai is the same as that of the Mali; his is really a low caste,
sometimes coupled with the contemned Telis or oil-pressers, but he
is considered ceremonially pure because the betel-leaf, offered to
gods and eaten by Brahmans and all Hindus, is taken from him. The
Barai or Tamboli was formerly a village menial in the Maratha villages.

29. Other village traders and menials.

The castes following other village trades mainly fall into this
group, though they may not now be village menials. Such are the
Kalar or liquor-vendor and Teli or oil-presser, who sell their
goods for cash, and having learnt to reckon and keep accounts, have
prospered in their dealings with the cultivators ignorant of this
accomplishment. Formerly it is probable that the village Teli had the
right of pressing all the oil grown in the village, and retaining a
certain share for his remuneration. The liquor-vendor can scarcely
have been a village menial, but since Manu's time his trade has
been regarded as a very impure one, and has ranked with that of the
Teli. Both these castes have now become prosperous, and include a
number of landowners, and their status is gradually improving. The
Darzi or tailor is not usually attached to the village community; sewn
clothes have hitherto scarcely been worn among the rural population,
and the weaver provides the cloths which they drape on the body and
round the head. [64] The contempt with which the tailor is visited in
English proverbial lore for working at a woman's occupation attaches
in a precisely similar manner in India to the weaver. [65] But in
Gujarat the Darzi is found living in villages and here he is also a
village menial. The Kachera or maker of the glass bangles which every
Hindu married woman wears as a sign of her estate, ranks with the
village artisans; his is probably an urban trade, but he has never
become prosperous or important. The Banjaras or grain-carriers were
originally Rajputs, but owing to the mixed character of the caste
and the fact that they obtained their support from the cultivators,
they have come to rank below these latter. The Wanjari cultivators
of Berar have now discarded their Banjara ancestry and claim to be
Kunbis. The Nat or rope-dancer and acrobat may formerly have had
functions in the village in connection with the crops. In Kumaon
[66] a Nat still slides down a long rope from the summit of a cliff
to the base as a rite for ensuring the success of the crops on the
occasion of a festival of Siva. Formerly if the Nat or Badi fell to
the ground in his course, he was immediately despatched with a sword
by the surrounding spectators, but this is now prohibited. The rope
on which he slid down the cliff is cut up and distributed among
the inhabitants of the village, who hang the pieces as charms on
the eaves of their houses. The hair of the Nat is also taken and
preserved as possessing similar virtues. Each District in Kumaon has
its hereditary Nat or Badi, who is supported by annual contributions
of grain from the inhabitants. Similarly in the Central Provinces it
is not uncommon to find a deified Nat, called Nat Baba or Father Nat,
as a village god. A Natni, or Nat woman, is sometimes worshipped; and
when two sharp peaks of hills are situated close to each other, it is
related that there was once a Natni, very skilful on the tight-rope,
who performed before the king; and he promised her that if she would
stretch a rope from the peak of one hill to that of the other, and
walk across it, he would marry her and make her wealthy. Accordingly
the rope was stretched, but the queen from jealousy went and cut
it nearly through in the night, and when the Natni started to walk,
the rope broke, and she fell down and was killed. Having regard to
the Kumaon rite, it may be surmised that these legends commemorate
the death of a Natni or acrobat during the performance of some feat of
dancing or sliding on a rope for the magical benefit of the crops. And
it seems possible that acrobatic performances may have had their
origin in this manner. The point bearing on the present argument is,
however, that the Nat performed special functions for the success of
the village crops, and on this account was supported by contributions
from the villagers, and ranked with the village menials.

30. Household servants.

Some of the castes already mentioned, and one or two others having
the same status, work as household servants as well as village
menials. The Dhimar is most commonly employed as an indoor servant
in Hindu households, and is permitted to knead flour in water and
make it into a cake, which the Brahman then takes and puts on the
girdle with his own hands. He can boil water and pour pulse into the
cooking-pot from above, so long as he does not touch the vessel after
the food has been placed in it. He will take any remains of food
left in the cooking-pot, as this is not considered to be polluted,
food only becoming polluted when the hand touches it on the dish after
having touched the mouth. When this happens, all the food on the dish
becomes _jutha_ or leavings of food, and as a general rule no caste
except the sweepers will eat these leavings of food of another caste
or of another person of their own. Only a wife, whose meal follows
her husband's, will eat his leavings. As a servant, the Dhimar is
very familiar with his master; he may enter any part of the house,
including the cooking-place and the women's rooms, and he addresses
his mistress as 'Mother.' When he lights his master's pipe he takes
the first pull himself, to show that it has not been tampered with,
and then presents it to him with his left hand placed under his
right elbow in token of respect. Maid-servants frequently belong
also to the Dhimar caste, and it often happens that the master of
the household has illicit intercourse with them. Hence there is a
proverb: 'The king's son draws water and the water-bearer's son sits
on the throne,'--similar intrigues on the part of high-born women
with their servants being not unknown. The Kahar or palanquin-bearer
was probably the same caste as the Dhimar. Landowners would maintain
a gang of Kahars to carry them on journeys, allotting to such men
plots of land rent-free. Our use of the word 'bearer' in the sense
of a body-servant has developed from the palanquin-bearer who became
a personal attendant on his master. Well-to-do families often have a
Nai or barber as a hereditary family servant, the office descending
in the barber's family. Such a man arranges the marriages of the
children and takes a considerable part in conducting them, and acts
as escort to the women of the family when they go on a journey. Among
his daily duties are to rub his master's body with oil, massage his
limbs, prepare his bed, tell him stories to send him to sleep, and so
on. The barber's wife attends on women in childbirth after the days
of pollution are over, and rubs oil on the bodies of her clients,
pares their nails and paints their feet with red dye at marriages
and on other festival occasions. The Bari or maker of leaf-plates
is another household servant. Plates made of large leaves fastened
together with little wooden pins and strips of fibre are commonly used
by the Hindus for eating food, as are little leaf-cups for drinking;
glazed earthenware has hitherto not been commonly manufactured, and
that with a rougher surface becomes ceremonially impure by contact
with any strange person or thing. Metal vessels and plates are the
only alternative to those made of leaves, and there are frequently
not enough of them to go round for a party. The Baris also work as
personal servants, hand round water, and light and carry torches at
entertainments and on journeys. Their women are maids to high-caste
Hindu ladies, and as they are always about the zenana are liable to
lose their virtue.

31. Status of the village menials.

The castes of village and household menials form a large group between
the cultivators on the one hand and the impure and servile labourers
on the other. Their status is not exactly the same. On the one hand,
the Nai or barber, the Kahar and Dhimar or watermen, the household
servants, the Bari, Ahir, and others, some of the village priests and
the gardening castes, are considered ceremonially pure and Brahmans
will take water from them. But this is a matter of convenience, as,
if they were not so held pure, they would be quite useless in the
household. Several of these castes, as the Dhimars, Baris and others,
are derived from the primitive tribes. Sir H. Risley considered the
Baris of Bengal as probably an offshoot from the Bhuiya or Musahar
tribe: "He still associates with the Bhuiyas at times, and if the
demand for leaf-plates and cups is greater than he can cope with
himself, he gets them secretly made up by his ruder kinsfolk and
passes them off as his own production. Instances of this sort, in
which a non-Aryan or mixed group is promoted on grounds of necessity
or convenience to a higher status than their antecedents would
entitle them to claim, are not unknown in other castes, and must
have occurred frequently in outlying parts of the country, where
the Aryan settlements were scanty and imperfectly supplied with the
social apparatus demanded by the theory of ceremonial purity. Thus
the undoubtedly non-Aryan Bhuiyas have in parts of Chota Nagpur been
recognised as Jal-Acharani (able to give water to the higher castes)
and it may be conjectured that the Kahars themselves only attained this
privilege in virtue of their employment as palanquin-bearers." [67]
The fact that Brahmans will take water from these castes does not in
any way place them on a level with the cultivators; they remain menial
servants, ranking, if anything, below such castes as Lohar, Teli and
Kalar, from whom Brahmans will not take water; but these latter are,
as corporate bodies, more important and prosperous than the household
menial castes, because their occupation confers a greater dignity
and independence.

On the other hand, one or two of the village menials, such as the
Dhobi or washerman, are considered to some extent impure. This is
due to specially degrading incidents attaching to their occupation,
as in the case of the Dhobi, the washing of the clothes of women in
childbirth. [68] And the Sungaria subcaste of Kumhars, who keep pigs,
are not touched, because the impurity of the animal is necessarily
communicated to its owner's house and person. Still, in the village
society there is little real difference between the position of these
castes and those of the other village menials.

32. Origin of their status

The status of the village menial castes appears to be fixed by their
dependent position on the cultivators. The latter are their patrons and
superiors, to whom they look for a livelihood. Before the introduction
of a currency in the rural tracts (an event of the last fifty to a
hundred years) the village artisans and menials were supported by
contributions of grain from the cultivators. They still all receive
presents, consisting of a sowing-basketful of grain at seed-time and
one or two sheaves at harvest. The former is known as _Bij phutni_, or
'The breaking of the seed,' and the latter as _Khanvar,_ or 'That which
is left' Sometimes, after threshing, the menials are each given as much
grain as will fill a winnowing-fan. When the peasant has harvested his
grain, all come and beg from him. The Dhimar brings some water-nut,
the Kachhi or market-gardener some chillies, the Barai betel-leaf,
the Teli oil and tobacco, the Kalar liquor (if he drinks it), the
Bania some sugar, and all receive grain in excess of the value of
their gifts. The Joshi or village priest, the Nat or acrobat, the
Gosain or religious mendicant and the Fakir or Muhammadan beggar
solicit alms. On that day the cultivator is said to be like a little
king in his fields, and the village menials constitute his court. In
purely agricultural communities grain is the principal source of
wealth, and though the average Hindu villager may appear to us to
be typical of poverty rather than wealth, such standards are purely
relative. The cultivator was thus the patron and supporter of the
village artisans and menials, and his social position was naturally
superior to theirs. Among the Hindus it is considered derogatory to
accept a gift from another person, the recipient being thereby placed
in a position of inferiority to the donor. Some exception to this
rule is made in the case of Brahmans, though even with them it partly
applies. Generally the acceptance of a gift of any value among Hindus
is looked upon in the same manner as the taking of money in England,
being held to indicate that the recipient is in an inferior social
position to the giver. And the existence of this feeling seems to
afford strong support to the reason suggested here for the relative
status of the cultivating and village menial castes.

The group of village menial and artisan castes comes between the good
cultivating castes who hold the status of the Vaishyas or body of
the Aryans, and the impure castes, the subjected aborigines. The most
reasonable theory of their status seems to be that it originated in
mixed descent. As has already been seen, it was the common practice of
members of the higher classes to take lower-caste women either as wives
or concubines, and a large mixed class would naturally result. Such
children, born and brought up in the households of their fathers,
would not be full members of the family, but would not be regarded as
impure. They would naturally be put to the performance of the menial
household duties, for which the servile castes were rendered unsuitable
through their impure status. This would correspond with the tradition
of the large number of castes originating in mixed descent, which is
given in the Hindu sacred books. It has been seen that where menial
castes are employed in the household, classes of mixed descent do as a
matter of fact arise. And there are traces of a relationship between
the cultivators and the menial castes, which would be best explained
by such an origin. At a betrothal in the great Kunbi cultivating
caste of the Marathas, the services of the barber and washerman must
be requisitioned. The barber washes the feet of the boy and girl and
places vermilion on the foreheads of the guests; the washerman spreads
a sheet on the ground on which the boy and girl sit. At the end of
the ceremony the barber and washerman take the bride and bridegroom
on their shoulders and dance to music in the marriage-shed, for which
they receive small presents. After a death has occurred at a Kunbi's
house, the impurity is not removed until the barber and washerman have
eaten in it. At a Kunbi's wedding the Gurao or village priest brings
the leafy branches of five trees and deposits them at Maroti's [69]
temple, whence they are removed by the parents of the bride. Before
a wedding, again, a Kunbi bride must go to the potter's house and be
seated on his wheel, while it is turned round seven times for good
luck. Similarly at a wedding among the Hindustani cultivating castes
the bride visits the potter's house and is seated on his wheel; and
the washerman's wife applies vermilion to her forehead. The barber's
wife puts red paint on her feet, the gardener's wife presents her with
a garland of flowers and the carpenter's wife gives her a new wooden
doll. At the wedding feast the barber, the washerman and the Bari or
personal servant also eat with the guests, though sitting apart from
them. Sometimes members of the menial and serving castes are invited
to the funeral feast as if they belonged to the dead man's caste. In
Madras the barber and his wife, and the washerman and his wife, are
known as the son and daughter of the village. And among the families
of ruling Rajput chiefs, when a daughter of the house is married,
it was customary to send with her a number of handmaidens taken from
the menial and serving castes. These became the concubines of the
bridegroom and it seems clear that their progeny would be employed
in similar capacities about the household and would follow the castes
of their mothers. The Tamera caste of coppersmiths trace their origin
from the girls so sent with the bride of Dharam-Pal, the Haihaya Rajput
Raja of Ratanpur, through the progeny of these girls by the Raja.

33. Other castes who rank with the village menials.

Many other castes belong to the group of those from whom a Brahman
cannot take water, but who are not impure. Among these are several
of the lower cultivating castes, some of them growers of special
products, as the Kachhis and Mowars or market-gardeners, the
Dangris or melon-growers, and the Kohlis and Bhoyars who plant
sugarcane. These subsidiary kinds of agriculture were looked down
upon by the cultivators proper; they were probably carried out on the
beds and banks of streams and other areas not included in the regular
holdings of the village, and were taken up by labourers and other
landless persons. The callings of these are allied to, or developed
from, that of the Mali or gardener, and they rank on a level with
him, or perhaps a little below, as no element of sanctity attaches
to their products. Certain castes which were formerly labourers,
but have now sometimes obtained possession of the land, are also in
this group, such as the Rajbhars, Kirs, Manas, and various Madras
castes of cultivators. Probably these were once not allowed to hold
land, but were afterwards admitted to do so. The distinction between
their position and that of the hereditary cultivators of the village
community was perhaps the original basis of the different kinds of
tenant-right recognised by our revenue law, though these now, of
course, depend solely on length of tenure and other incidents, and
make no distinction of castes. The shepherd castes who tend sheep
and goats (the Gadarias, Dhangars and Kuramwars) also fall into
this group. Little sanctity attached to these animals as compared
with the cow, and the business of rearing them would be left to
the labouring castes and non-Aryan tribes. The names of all three
castes denote their functional origin, Gadaria being from _gadar_,
a sheep, Dhangar from _dhan_ or small-stock, the word signifying a
flock of sheep or goats and also wealth; and Kuramwar from _kurri_,
the Telugu word for sheep. Others belonging to this group are the
digging and earth-working castes, the Beldars, Murhas, Nunias and so
on, practically all derived from the indigenous tribes, who wander
about seeking employment from the cultivators in the construction
and repair of field embankments and excavation of wells and tanks;
and various fishing and boating castes, as the Injhwars, Naodas,
Murhas and Kewats, who rank as equal to the Dhimars, though they may
not be employed in household or village service. Such castes, almost
entirely derived from the non-Aryan tribes, may have come gradually
into existence as the wants of society developed and new functions
were specialised; they would naturally be given the social status
already attaching to the village menial castes.

34. The non-Aryan tribes.

The fourth group in the scheme of precedence comprises the non-Aryan
or indigenous tribes, who are really outside the caste system when
this is considered as the social organisation of the Hindus, so
long at least as they continue to worship their own tribal deities,
and show no respect for Brahmans nor for the cow. These tribes have,
however, entered the Hindu polity in various positions. The leaders
of some of them who were dominant in the early period were admitted
to the Kshatriya or Rajput caste, and the origin of a few of the
Rajput clans can be traced to the old Bhar and other tribes. Again,
the aristocratic or landholding sections of several existing tribes
are at present, as has been seen, permitted to rank with the good
Hindu cultivating castes. In a few cases, as the Andhs, Halbas and
Manas, the tribe as a whole has become a Hindu caste, when it retained
possession of the land in the centre of a Hindu population. These have
now the same or a slightly higher position than the village menial
castes. On the other hand, those tribes which were subjugated and
permitted to live with a servile status in the Hindu villages have
developed into the existing impure castes of labourers, weavers,
tanners and others, who form the lowest social group. The tribes
which still retain their distinctive existence were not enslaved
in this manner, but lived apart in their own villages in the forest
tracts and kept possession of the land. This seems to be the reason
why they rank somewhat higher than the impure castes, even though
they may utterly defile themselves according to Hindu ideas by eating
cow's flesh. Some tribes, such as the Gonds, Binjhwars and Kawars,
counted amongst them the owners of large estates or even kingdoms,
and consequently had many Hindu cultivators for their subjects. And,
as the Hindus themselves say, they could not regard the Gonds as
impure when they had a Gond king. Nevertheless, the Gond labourers
in Hindu villages in the plains are more despised than the Gonds who
live in their own villages in the hill country. And the conversion
of the tribes as a whole to Hinduism goes steadily forward. At each
census the question arises which of them should be classed as Hindus,
and which as Animists or worshippers of their own tribal gods, and
though the classification is necessarily very arbitrary, the process
can be clearly observed. Thus the Andhs, Kolis, Rautias and Halbas
are now all Hindus, and the same remark applies to the Kols, Bhils
and Korkus in several Districts. By strict abstention from beef,
the adoption of Hindu rites, and to some extent of child-marriage,
they get admission to the third group of castes from whom a Brahman
cannot take water. It will be desirable here to digress from the
main argument by noticing briefly the origin and affinities of the
principal forest tribes of the Central Provinces.

35. The Kolarians and Dravidians.

These tribes are divided into two families, the Munda or Kolarian,
named after the Kol tribe, and the Dravidian, of which the former are
generally held to be the older and more primitive. The word Kol is
probably the Santali _har_, a man. "This word is used under various
forms, such as _har, hara, ho_ and _koro_ by most Munda tribes in
order to denote themselves. The change of _r_ to _l_ is familiar and
presents no difficulty." [70] The word is also found in the alternative
name Ho for the Kol tribe, and in the names of the cognate Korwa and
Korku tribes. The word Munda is a Sanskrit derivative meaning a head,
and, as stated by Sir H. Risley, is the common term employed by the
Kols for the headman of a village, whence it has been adopted as an
honorific title for the tribe. In Chota Nagpur those Kols who have
partly adopted Hinduism and become to some degree civilised are called
Munda, while the name Ho or Larka (fighting) Kol is reserved for the
wilder section of the tribe.

36. Kolarian tribes.

The principal tribes of the Munda or Kolarian family in the Central
Provinces are shown below:

    Kol, Munda, Ho.
    Savar or Saonr.
    Mal, Male.
    _Probable_: Bhar, Koli, Bhil, Chero.

One large group includes the Kol, Munda or Ho tribe itself and the
Bhumij and Santals, who appear to be local branches of the Kols
called by separate names by the Hindus. The Kharias seem to be the
earliest Kol settlers in Chota Nagpur, who were subjugated by the
later comers. The name Kol, as already seen, is probably a form of
the Santali _har_, a man. Similarly the name of the Korku tribe
is simply a corruption of _Koraku_, young men, and that of the
Korwa tribe is from the same root. The dialects of the Korku and
Korwa tribes closely approximate to Mundari. Hence it would seem
that they were originally one tribe with the Kols, but have been
separated for so long a period that their direct connection can no
longer be proved. The disintegrating causes which have split up what
was originally one into a number of distinct tribes, are probably no
more than distance and settlement in different parts of the country,
leading to cessation of intermarriage and social intercourse. The
tribes have then obtained some variation in the original names or been
given separate territorial or occupational designations by the Hindus,
and their former identity has gradually been forgotten. Both the Korwas
of the Chota Nagpur plateau and the Korkus of the Satpura hills were
known as Muasi, a term having the meaning of robber or raider. The
Korwas have also a subtribe called Koraku, and Mr. Crooke thinks that
they were originally the same tribe. Sir G. Grierson states that the
Korwa dialect is closely allied to Kharia. Similarly the resemblance
of the name raises a presumption that the great Koli tribe of Gujarat
and western India may be a branch of the Kols who penetrated to the
western coast along the Satpulra and Central India hill ranges. The
Kolis and Bhils are tribes of the same country and are commonly spoken
of together. Both have entirely lost their own language and cannot
therefore be classified definitely either as Kolarian or Dravidian,
but there is a probability that they are of the Kolarian family. The
Nahals, another tribe of the western Satpura range, are an offshoot
of the Korkus. They are coupled with the Bhils and Kolis in old
Hindu accounts.

The Savars, Sawaras or Saonrs are also a widely distributed tribe,
being found as far west as Bundelkhand and east in Orissa and
Ganjam. In the Central Provinces they have lost their own language and
speak Hindi or Uriya, but in Madras they still retain their original
speech, which is classified by Sir G. Grierson with Gadba as a Munda
or Kolarian dialect. The name occurs in Vedic literature, and the
tribe is probably of great antiquity. In the classical stories of
their origin the first ancestor of the Savars is sometimes described
as a Bhil. The wide extension of the Savar tribe east and west is
favourable to the hypothesis of the identity of the Kols and Kolis,
who have a somewhat similar distribution. The Gadbas of Ganjam, and
the Mal or Male Paharia tribe of Chota Nagpur seem to be offshoots
of the Savars. The Khairwars or Kharwars are an important tribe of
Mirzapur and Chota Nagpur. There is some reason for supposing that
they are an occupational offshoot of the Kols and Cheros, who have
become a distinct group through taking to the manufacture of edible
catechu from the wood of the _khair_ tree. [71]

Another great branch of the Kolarian family is that represented by the
Bhuiya and Baiga tribes and their offshoots, the Bhunjias, Bhainas and
Binjhwars. The Kolarian origin of the Bhuiyas has been discussed in the
article on that tribe, and it has also been suggested that the Baiga
tribe of the Central Provinces are an offshoot of the Bhuiyas. These
tribes have all abandoned their own languages and adopted the local
Aryan vernaculars. The name Bhuiya is a Sanskrit derivative from _bhu_,
earth, and signifies 'belonging to the soil.' Bhumij, applied to a
branch of the Kol tribe, has the same origin. Baiga is used in the
sense of a village priest or a sorcerer in Chota Nagpur, and the office
is commonly held by members of the Bhuiya tribe in that locality,
as being the oldest residents. Thus the section of the tribe in the
Central Provinces appears to have adopted, or been given, the name of
the office. The Bharias or Bharia-Bhumias of Jubbulpore seem to belong
to the great Bhar tribe, once dominant over large areas of the United
Provinces. They also hold the office of village priest, which is there
known as Bhumia, and in some tracts are scarcely distinguished from
the Baigas. Again, in Sambalpur the Bhuiyas are known as Bhumia Kol,
and are commonly regarded as a branch of the Kol tribe. Thus it would
seem that two separate settlements of the Kolarian races may have
occurred; the earlier one would be represented by the Bhars, Bhuiyas,
Baigas and kindred tribes who have entirely lost their own languages
and identity, and have names given to them by the Hindus; and a later
one of the Kols or Mundas and their related tribes, whose languages
and tribal religion and organisation, though in a decaying state, can
be fully recognised and recorded. And the Dravidian immigration would
be subsequent to both of them. To judge from the cases in which the
fissure or subdivision of single tribes into two or more distinct ones
can still be observed, it seems quite a plausible hypothesis that the
original immigrants may have consisted only of a single tribe on each
occasion, and that the formation of new ones may have occurred after
settlement. But the evidence does not warrant any definite assertion.

37. Dravidian tribes.

The principal Dravidian tribes are the Gonds, Khonds and Oraons. The
Gonds were once dominant over the greater part of the Central
Provinces, which was called Gondwana after them. The above three
names have in each case been given to the tribes by the Hindus. The
following tribes are found in the Province:

Gond, Oraon or Kurukh, Khond, Kolam, Parja, Kamar. _Tribal Castes_:
Bhatra, Halba, Dhoba. _Doubtful_: Kawar, Dhanwar.

The Gonds and Khonds call themselves Koi or Koitur, a word which
seems to mean man or hillman. The Oraon tribe call themselves Kurukh,
which has also been supposed to be connected with the Kolarian _horo_,
man. The name Oraon, given to them by the Hindus, may mean farmservant,
while Dhangar, an alternative name for the tribe, has certainly this

There seems good reason to suppose that the Gonds and Khonds were
originally one tribe divided through migration. [72] The Kolams are
a small tribe of the Wardha Valley, whose dialect resembles those of
the Gonds and Khonds. They may have split off from the parent tribe
in southern India and come northwards separately. The Parjas appear to
represent the earliest Gond settlers in Bastar, who were subjugated by
later Gond and Raj-Gond immigrants. The Halbas and Bhatras are mixed
tribes or tribal castes, descended from the unions of Gonds and Hindus.

38. Origin of the Kolarian tribes

The Munda languages have been shown by Sir G. Grierson to have
originated from the same source as those spoken in the Indo-Pacific
islands and the Malay Peninsula. "The Mundas, the Mon-Khmer,
the wild tribes of the Malay Peninsula and the Nicobarese all use
forms of speech which can be traced back to a common source though
they mutually differ widely from each other." [73] It would appear,
therefore, that the Mundas, the oldest known inhabitants of India,
perhaps came originally from the south-east, the islands of the Indian
Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula, unless India was their original
home and these countries were colonised from it.

Sir Edward Gait states: "Geologists tell us that the Indian Peninsula
was formerly cut off from the north of Asia by sea, while a land
connection existed on the one side with Madagascar and on the other
with the Malay Archipelago; and though there is nothing to show that
India was then inhabited, we know that it was so in palaeolithic times,
when communication was probably still easier with the countries to the
north-east and south-west than with those beyond the Himalayas." [74]
In the south of India, however, no traces of Munda languages remain at
present, and it seems therefore necessary to conclude that the Mundas
of the Central Provinces and Chota Nagpur have been separated from the
tribes of Malaysia who speak cognate languages for an indefinitely
long period; or else that they did not come through southern India
to these countries but by way of Assam and Bengal or by sea through
Orissa. There is good reason to believe from the names of places and
from local tradition that the Munda tribes were once spread over Bihar
and parts of the Ganges Valley; and if the Kolis are an offshoot of the
Kols, as is supposed, they also penetrated across Central India to the
sea in Gujarat and the hills of the western Ghats. The presumption is
that the advance of the Aryans or Hindus drove the Mundas from the
open country to the seclusion of the hills and forests. The Munda
and Dravidian languages are shown by Sir G. Grierson to be distinct
groups without any real connection.

Though the physical characteristics of the two sets of tribes display
no marked points of difference, the opinion has been generally held
by ethnologists who know them that they represent two distinct waves
of immigration, and the absence of connection between their languages
bears out this view. It has always been supposed that the Mundas were
in the country of Chota Nagpur and the Central Provinces first, and
that the Dravidians, the Gonds, Khonds and Oraons came afterwards. The
grounds for this view are the more advanced culture of the Dravidians;
the fact that where the two sets of tribes are in contact those of the
Munda group have been ousted from the more open and fertile country,
of which, according to tradition, they were formerly in possession;
and the practice of the Gonds and other Dravidian tribes of employing
the Baigas, Bhuiyas and other Munda tribes for their village priests,
which is an acknowledgment that the latter as the earlier residents
have a more familiar acquaintance with the local deities, and can
solicit their favour and protection with more prospect of success. Such
a belief is the more easily understood when it is remembered that
these deities are not infrequently either the human ancestors of the
earliest residents or the local animals and plants from which they
supposed themselves to be descended.

39. Of the Dravidian tribes.

The Dravidian languages, Gondi, Kurukh and Khond, are of one family
with Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Canarese, and their home is the
south of India. The word Dravida comes from an older form Damila
or Dramila, and was used in ancient Pali and Jain literature as a
name for the people of the Tamil country. [75] Afterwards it came to
signify generally the people of southern India as opposed to Gaur or
northern India.

As stated by Sir Edward Gait there is at present no evidence to
show that the Dravidians came to southern India from any other
part of the world, and for anything that is known to the contrary
the languages may have originated there. The existence of the small
Brahui tribe in Baluchistan who speak a Dravidian language but have no
physical resemblance to other Dravidian races cannot be satisfactorily
explained, but, as he points out, this is no reason for holding that
the whole body of speakers of Dravidian languages entered India from
the north-west, and, with the exception of this small group of Brahuis,
penetrated to the south and settled there without leaving any traces
of their passage.

The Dravidian languages occupy a large area in Madras, Mysore and
Hyderabad, and they extend north into the Central Provinces and Chota
Nagpur where they die out, practically not being found west and north
of this tract. As the languages are more highly developed and the
culture of their speakers is far more advanced in the south, it is
justifiable to suppose, pending evidence to the contrary, that the
south is their home and that they have spread thence as far north as
the Central Provinces. The Gonds and Oraons, too, have stories to the
effect that they came from the south. The belief has hitherto been,
at least in the Central Provinces, that both the Gonds and Baigas have
been settled in this territory for an indefinite period, that is, from
prior to any Aryan or Hindu immigration. Mr. H.A. Crump, C.S., has
however pointed out that if this was the case the Munda or Kolarian
tribes, which have lost their own languages, should have adopted
Dravidian and not Hindu forms of speech. As already seen, numerous
Kolarian tribes, as the Binjhwar, Bhaina, Bhuiya, Baiga, Bhumij,
Chero, Khairwar and the Kols themselves in the Central Provinces have
entirely lost their own languages, as well as the Bhils and Kolis,
if these are held to be Kolarian tribes. None of them have adopted a
Dravidian language, but all speak corrupt forms of the ancient Aryan
vernaculars derived from Sanskrit. The fact seems to indicate that
at the time when they abandoned their own languages these tribes were
in contact with Hindus, and were not surrounded by Gonds, as several
of them are at present. The history of the Central Provinces affords
considerable support to the view that the Gond immigration occurred at
a comparatively late period, perhaps in the ninth or tenth century,
or even later, after a considerable part of the Province had been
governed for some centuries by Rajput dynasties. [76] The Gonds
and Oraons still have well-defined legends about their immigration,
which would scarcely be the case if it had occurred twenty centuries
or more ago.

Any further evidence or argument as to the date of the Dravidian
immigration would be of considerable interest.

40. Origin of the impure castes.

The fifth or lowest group in the scheme of precedence is that of the
impure castes who cannot be touched. If a high-caste Hindu touches one
of them he should bathe and have his clothes washed. These castes are
not usually allowed to live inside a Hindu village, but have a hamlet
to themselves adjoining it. The village barber will not shave them,
nor the washerman wash their clothes. They usually have a separate
well assigned to them from which to draw water, and if the village
has only one well, one side of it is allotted to them and the Hindus
take water from the other side. Formerly they were subjected to more
humiliating restrictions. In Bombay a Mahar might not spit on the
ground lest a Hindu should be polluted by touching it with his foot,
but had to hang an earthen pot round his neck to hold his spittle. He
was made to drag a thorny branch with him to brush out his footsteps,
and when a Brahman came by had to lie at a distance on his face lest
his shadow might fall on the Brahman. [77] Even if the shadow of a
Mahar or Mang fell on a Brahman he was polluted and dare not taste
food and water until he had bathed and washed the impurity away. In
Madras a Paraiyan or Pariah pollutes a high-caste Hindu by approaching
within a distance of 64 feet of him. [78] The debased and servile
position of the impure castes corresponds to that which, as already
seen, attached to the Sudras of the classical period. The castes
usually regarded as impure are the tanners, bamboo-workers, sweepers,
hunters and fowlers, gipsies and vagrants, village musicians and
village weavers. These castes, the Chamars, Basors, Mahars, Koris,
Gandas and others are usually also employed as agricultural and
casual labourers. Formerly, as already seen, they were not allowed to
hold land. There is no reason to doubt that the status of impurity,
like that of the Sudra, was originally the mark of a subjugated and
inferior race, and was practically equivalent to slavery. This was the
position of the indigenous Indians who were subjugated by the Aryan
invaders and remained in the country occupied by them. Though they
were of different races, and the distinction was marked and brought
home to themselves by the contrast in the colour of their skins,
it seems probable that the real basis for their antagonism was not
social so much as religious. The Indians were hated and despised by
the immigrants as the worshippers of a hostile god. They could not join
in the sacrifices by which the Aryans held communion with their gods,
and the sacrifice itself could not even be held, in theory at least,
except in those parts of India which were thoroughly subdued and
held to have become the dwelling-place of the Aryan gods. The proper
course prescribed by religion towards the indigenous residents was
to exterminate them, as the Israelites should have exterminated the
inhabitants of Canaan. But as this could not be done, because their
numbers were too great or the conquerors not sufficiently ruthless,
they were reduced to the servile condition of impurity and made
the serfs of their masters like the Amalekites and the plebeians
and helots.

If the whole of India had been thoroughly subjugated and settled like
the Punjab and Hindustan, it may be supposed that the same status
of impurity would have been imposed upon all the indigenous races;
but this was very far from being the case. In central and southern
India the Aryans or subsequent immigrants from Central Asia came at
first at any rate only in small parties, and though they may have
established territorial states, did not regularly occupy the land nor
reduce the indigenous population to a condition of servitude. Thus
large bodies of these must have retained a free position, and on
their acceptance of the new religion and the development of the caste
system, became enrolled in it with a caste status on the basis of
their occupation. Their leaders were sometimes admitted to rank as
Kshatriyas or Rajputs, as has been stated.

Subsequently, as the racial distinction disappeared, the impure
status came to attach to certain despised occupations and to customs
abhorrent to Hinduism, such as that of eating beef. But, as already
seen, the tribes which have continued to live apart from the Hindus
are not usually regarded as impure, though they may eat beef and even
skin animals. The Dhimars, who keep pigs, still have a higher status
than the impure castes because they are employed as water-bearers and
household servants. It is at least doubtful whether at the time when
the stigma of impurity was first attached to the Sudras the Hindus
themselves did not sacrifice cows and eat beef. [79] The castes noted
below are usually regarded as impure in the Central Provinces.

The Dhobi (washerman) and Kumhar (potter) are sometimes included among
the impure castes, but, as already noted, their status is higher than
that of the castes in this list.

Audhelia: Labouring caste of mixed descent who keep pigs.

Balahi: Weavers and village messengers and watchmen.

Basor: Bamboo basket-makers and village musicians.

Chamar: Tanners and labourers.

Ganda: Weavers and village musicians.

Ghasia: Grass-cutters, labourers and sweepers.

Kaikari: Vagrant basket-makers.

Kanjar, Beria, Sansia: Gipsies and thieves.

Katia: Cotton-spinners.

Kori: Weavers and labourers.

Madgi: Telugu tanners and hide-curriers.

Mahar: Weavers and labourers.

Mala: Telugu weavers and labourers.

Mang: Broom- and mat-makers and village musicians. They also castrate

Mehtar: Sweepers and scavengers.

Certain occupations, those of skinning cattle and curing hides, weaving
the coarse country cloth worn by the villagers, making baskets from
the rind of the bamboo, playing on drums and tom-toms, and scavenging
generally are relegated to the lowest and impure castes. The hides of
domestic animals are exceedingly impure; a Hindu is defiled even by
touching their dead bodies and far more so by removing the skins. Drums
and tom-toms made from the hides of animals are also impure. But in
the case of weaving and basket-making the calling itself entails no
defilement, and it would appear simply that they were despised by the
cultivators, and as a considerable number of workers were required to
satisfy the demand for baskets and cloth, were adopted by the servile
and labouring castes. Basket- and mat-making are callings naturally
suited to the primitive tribes who would obtain the bamboos from the
forests, but weaving would not be associated with them unless cloth
was first woven of tree-cotton. The weavers of the finer cotton and
silk cloths, who live in towns, rank much higher than the village
weavers, as in the case of the Koshtis and Tantis, the latter of whom
made the famous fine cotton cloth, known as _abrawan_, or 'running
water,' which was supplied to the imperial Zenana at Delhi. On one
occasion a daughter of Aurangzeb was reproached on entering the room
for her immodest attire and excused herself by the plea that she had on
seven folds of cloth over her body. [80] In Bengal Brahmans will take
water from Tantis, and it seems clear that their higher status is a
consequence of the lucrative and important nature of their occupation.

The Katias are a caste of cotton-spinners, the name being derived
from _katna_, to cut or spin. But hand-spinning is now practically
an extinct industry and the Katias have taken to weaving or ordinary
manual labour for a subsistence. The Kanjars and Berias are the gipsy
castes of India. They are accustomed to wander about carrying their
grass-matting huts with them. Many of them live by petty thieving and
cheating. Their women practise palmistry and retail charms for the cure
of sickness and for exorcising evil spirits, and love-philtres. They
do cupping and tattooing and also make reed mats, cane baskets,
palm-leaf mats and fans, ropes from grass- and tree-fibre, brushes
for the cotton-loom, string-net purses and balls, and so on; and the
women commonly dance and act as prostitutes. There is good reason for
thinking that the Kanjars are the parents of the European gipsies,
while the Thugs who formerly infested the high-roads of India,
murdering solitary travellers and small parties by strangulation,
may also have been largely derived from this caste. [81]

41. Derivation of the impure castes from the indigenous tribes.

It can only be definitely shown in a few instances that the existing
impure occupational castes were directly derived from the indigenous
tribes. The Chamar and Kori, and the Chuhra and Bhangi, or sweepers
and scavengers of the Punjab and United Provinces, are now purely
occupational castes and their original tribal affinities have entirely
disappeared. The Chamars and Mehtars or sweepers are in some places
of a superior physical type, of comparatively good stature and light
complexion; [82] this may perhaps be due to a large admixture of
Hindu blood through their women, during a social contact with the
Hindus extending over many centuries, and also to the fact that they
eat flesh when they can obtain it, including carrion. Such types are,
however, exceptional among the impure castes, and there is no reason
to doubt their general origin from the non-Aryan tribes, which in
a few instances can be directly traced. Thus it seems likely that
the Kanjars, Berias, Sansias and other gipsy groups, as well as the
Mirasis, the vagrant bards and genealogists of the lower classes of
Hindus, are derived from the Dom caste or tribe of Bengal, who are
largely employed as sweepers and scavengers as well as on ordinary
labour. The evidence for the origin of the above groups from the
Doms is given in the article on Kanjar. Sir H.M. Elliot considered
the Doms to be one of the original tribes of India. Again, there is
no doubt that the impure Ganda caste, who are weavers, labourers and
village musicians in the Uriya country and Chhattisgarh Districts
of the Central Provinces, are derived from the Pan tribe of Chota
Nagpur. The Pans or Pabs are a regular forest tribe, and are sometimes
called Ganda, while the Gandas may be alternatively known as Pan. But
the section of the tribe who live among the Hindus and are regarded
as impure have now become a distinct caste with a separate name. The
Bhuiya tribe were once the rulers of Chota Nagpur; they still install
the Raja of Keonjhar, and have a traditional relation to other ruling
families. But in parts of Chota Nagpur and southern Bihar the Bhuiyas
living in Hindu villages have become a separate impure caste with
the opprobrious designation of Musahar or rat-eater. The great Mahar
caste of the Maratha country or Bombay are weavers and labourers,
and formerly cured hides, like the Chamars and Koris of northern
India. They are regarded as impure and were the serfs or villeins
of the Kunbis, attached to the land. An alternative name for them is
Dher, and this is supposed to be a corruption of Dharada a hillman,
a name applied in Manu to all the indigenous races of India. Though
the connection cannot be traced in all cases, there is thus no reason
to doubt that the existing impure castes represent the subjected or
enslaved section of the primitive non-Aryan tribes.

42. Occupation the basis of the caste system.

It has been seen that the old Aryan polity comprised four classes:
the Brahmans and Kshatriyas or priestly and military aristocracy;
the Vaishyas or body of the Aryans, who were ceremonially pure
and could join in sacrifices; and the Sudras or servile and impure
class of labourers. The Vaishyas became cultivators and herdsmen,
and their status of ceremonial purity was gradually transferred to
the cultivating members of the village community, because land was
the main source of wealth. Between the last two there arose another
class of village menials and craftsmen, originating principally from
the offspring of fathers of the Aryan classes and Sudra women, to
whom was left the practice of the village industries, despised by the
cultivators. In spite of the almost complete fusion of races which
the intercourse of centuries has effected, and the multiplication
and rearrangement of castes produced by the diversity of occupation
and other social factors, the divisions of the village community can
still be recognised in the existing social gradation.

It has been seen also that occupation is the real basis of the division
and social precedence of castes in India, as in all communities
which have made any substantial progress in civilisation and social
development. Distinctions of race, religion and family gradually
disappear, and are merged in the gradation according to wealth or
profession. The enormous majority of castes are occupational and their
social position depends on their caste calling. Thus in the case of
an important industry like weaving, there are separate castes who
weave the finer kinds of cloth, as the Tantis and Koshtis, while one
subcaste of Koshtis, the Salewars, are distinguished as silk-weavers,
and a separate caste of Patwas embroider silk and braid on cloth;
other castes, as the Mahars, Gandas and Koris, weave coarse cloth,
and a distinct caste of Katias existed for the spinning of thread,
and the Muhammadan caste of Bahnas for cleaning cotton. The workers
in each kind of metal have formed a separate caste, as the Lohars or
blacksmiths, the Kasars or brass-workers, the Tameras or coppersmiths,
and the Sunars or gold- and silversmiths, while the Audhia subcaste of
Sunars [83] and the Bharewas, an inferior branch of the Kasars, work
in bell-metal. Each of these castes makes ornaments of its own metal,
while the Kachera caste [84] make glass bangles, and the Lakheras make
bangles from lac and clay. In the case of agriculture, as has been
seen, there is usually a functional cultivating caste for each main
tract of country, as the Jats in the Punjab, the Kurmis in Hindustan,
the Kunbis in the Deccan, the Chasas in Orissa, the Kapus in the Telugu
country and the Vellalas in the Tamil country. Except the Jats, who
were perhaps originally a racial caste, the above castes appear to
include a number of heterogeneous groups which have been welded into
a single body through the acquisition of land and the status which it
confers. Various other cultivating castes also exist, whose origin
can be traced to different sources; on obtaining possession of the
land they have acquired the cultivating status, but retained their
separate caste organisation and name. Other agricultural castes have
been formed for the growing of special products. Thus the Malis are
gardeners, and within the caste there exist such separate groups as
the Phulmalis who grow flowers, the Jire Malis cumin and the Halde
Malis turmeric. [85] Hindus generally object to cultivate _san_-hemp,
[86] and some special castes have been formed from those who grew
it and thus underwent some loss of status; such are the Lorhas and
Kumrawats and Pathinas, and the Santora subcaste of Kurmis. The _al_
[87] or Indian madder-dye is another plant to which objection is
felt, and the Alia subcastes of Kachhis and Banias consist of those
who grow and sell it. The Dangris and Kachhis are growers of melons
and other vegetables on the sandy stretches in the beds of rivers and
the alluvial land on their borders which is submerged in the monsoon
floods. The Barais are the growers and sellers of the betel-vine.

Several castes have been formed from military service, as the Marathas,
Khandaits, Rautias, Taonlas and Paiks. All of these, except the
Marathas, are mainly derived from the non-Aryan tribes; since they
have abandoned military service and taken as a rule to agriculture,
their rank depends roughly on their position as regards the land. Thus
the Marathas and Khandaits became landowners, receiving grants of
property as a reward for, or on condition of, military service like
the old feudal tenures; they rank with, but somewhat above, the
cultivating castes. The same is the case, though to a less degree,
with the Rautias of Chota Nagpur, a military caste mainly formed from
the Kol tribe. On the other hand, the Paiks or foot-soldiers and
Taonlas have not become landholders and rank below the cultivating
castes. The Hatkars are a caste formed from Dhangars or shepherds
who entered the Maratha armies. They are now called Bangi Dhangars
or shepherds with the spears, and rank a little above other Dhangars.

43. Other agents in the formation of castes.

The great majority of castes have been formed from occupation, but
other sources of origin can be traced. Several castes are of mixed
descent, as the Vidurs, the descendants of Brahman fathers and mothers
of other castes; the Bhilalas, by Rajput fathers and Bhil mothers;
the Chauhans, Audhelias, Khangars and Dhakars of Bastar, probably by
Hindu fathers and women of various indigenous tribes; the Kirars of
mixed Rajput descent, and others. These also now generally take rank
according to their occupation and position in the world. The Vidurs
served as village accountants and ranked below the cultivators, but
since they are well educated and have done well in Government service
their status is rapidly improving. The Bhilalas are landholders
and rank as a good cultivating caste. The Chauhans and Khangars
are village watchmen and rank as menials below the cultivators, the
Dhakars are farmservants and labourers with a similar position, while
the Audhelias are labourers who keep pigs and are hence regarded as
impure. The Halbas or 'ploughmen' are another mixed caste, probably
the descendants of house-servants of the Uriya Rajas, who, like the
Khandaits, formed a sort of militia for the maintenance of the chiefs
authority. They are now mainly farmservants, as the name denotes,
but where they hold land, as in Bastar, they rank higher, almost as
a good cultivating caste.

Again, very occasionally a caste may be formed from a religious sect
or order. The Bishnois were originally a Vaishnava sect, worshipping
Vishnu as an unseen god, and refusing to employ Brahmans. They have now
become cultivators, and though they retain their sectarian beliefs, and
have no Brahman priests, are generally regarded as a Hindu cultivating
caste. The Pankas are members of the impure Ganda caste who adhered to
the Kabirpanthi sect. They are now a separate caste and are usually
employed as village watchmen, ranking with menials above the Gandas
and other similar castes. The Lingayats are a large sect of southern
India, devoted to the worship of Siva and called after the _lingam_ or
phallic emblem which they wear. They have their own priests, denying
the authority of Brahmans, but the tendency now is for members of
those castes which have become Lingayats to marry among themselves
and retain their relative social status, thus forming a sort of inner
microcosm of Hinduism.

44. Caste occupations divinely ordained.

Occupation is the real determining factor of social status in India
as in all other societies of at all advanced organisation. But though
in reality the status of occupations and of castes depends roughly on
the degree to which they are lucrative and respectable, this is not
ostensibly the case, but their precedence, as already seen, is held to
be regulated by the degree of ceremonial purity or impurity attaching
to them. The Hindus have retained, in form at any rate, the religious
constitution which is common or universal in primitive societies. The
majority of castes are provided with a legend devised by the Brahmans
to show that their first ancestor was especially created by a god to
follow their caste calling, or at least that this was assigned to him
by a god. The ancestors of the bearer-caste of Kahars were created by
Siva or Mahadeo from the dust to carry his consort Parvati in a litter
when she was tired; the first Mang was made by Mahadeo from his own
sweat to castrate the divine bull Nandi when he was fractious, and
his descendants have ever since followed the same calling, the impiety
of mutilating the sacred bull in such a manner being thus excused by
the divine sanction accorded to it. The first Mali or gardener gave a
garland to Krishna. The first Chamar or tanner made sandals for Siva
from a piece of his own skin; the ancestor of the Kayasth or writer
caste, Chitragupta, keeps the record of men's actions by which they
are judged in the infernal regions after death; and so on.

45. Subcastes. local type.

All important castes are divided into a number of subordinate groups
or subcastes, which as a rule marry and take food within their own
circle only. Certain differences of status frequently exist among the
subcastes of the occupational or social type, but these are usually
too minute to be recognised by outsiders. The most common type of
subcaste is the local, named after the tract of country in which
the members reside or whence they are supposed to have come. Thus
the name Kanaujia from the town of Kanauj on the Ganges, famous in
ancient Indian history, is borne by subcastes of many castes which have
immigrated from northern India. Jaiswar, from the old town of Jais in
the Rai Bareli District, is almost equally common. Pardeshi or foreign,
and Purabia or eastern, are also subcaste names for groups coming from
northern India or Oudh. Mahobia is a common name derived from the town
of Mahoba in Central India, as are Bundeli from Bundelkhand, Narwaria
from Narwar and Marwari from Marwar in Rajputana. Groups belonging
to Berar are called Berari, Warade or Baone; those from Gujarat are
called Lad, the classical term for Gujarat, or Gujarati, and other
names are Deccani from the Deccan, Nimari of Nimar, Havelia, the name
of the wheat-growing tracts of Jubbulpore and Damoh; Chhattisgarhia,
Kosaria, Ratanpuria (from the old town of Ratanpur in Bilaspur), and
Raipuria (from Raipur town), all names for residents in Chhattisgarh;
and so on. Brahmans are divided into ten main divisions, named after
different tracts in the north and south of India where they reside;
[88] and these are further subdivided, as the Maharashtra Brahmans
of the Maratha country of Bombay into the subcastes of Deshasth
(belonging to the country) applied to those of the Poona country
above the western Ghats; Karhara or those of the Satara District,
from Karhar town; and Konkonasth or those of the Concan, the Bombay
coast; similarly the Kanaujia division of the Panch-Gaur or northern
Brahmans has as subdivisions the Kanaujia proper, the Jijhotia from
Jajhoti, the old name of the Lalitpur and Saugor tract, which is part
of Bundelkhand; the Sarwaria or those dwelling round the river Sarju
in the United Provinces; the Mathuria from Muttra; and the Prayagwals
or those of Allahabad (Prayag), who act as guides and priests to
pilgrims who come to bathe in the Ganges at the sacred city. The
creation of new local subcastes seems to arise in two ways: when
different groups of a caste settle in different tracts of country
and are prevented from attending the caste feasts and assemblies,
the practice of intermarriage and taking food together gradually
ceases, they form separate endogamous groups and for purposes of
distinction are named after the territory in which they reside; this
is what has happened in the case of Brahmans and many other castes;
and, secondly, when a fresh body of a caste arrives and settles in a
tract where some of its members already reside, they do not amalgamate
with the latter group, but form a fresh one and are named after the
territory from which they have come, as in the case of such names as
Pardeshi, Purabia, Gangapari ('from the other side of the Ganges'),
and similar ones already cited. In former times, when the difficulties
of communication were great, these local subcastes readily multiplied;
thus the Kanaujia Brahmans of Chhattisgarh are looked down upon by
those of Saugor and Damoh, as Chhattisgarh has been for centuries
a backward tract cut off from the rest of India, and they may be
suspected of having intermarried with the local people or otherwise
derogated from the standard of strict Hinduism. Similarly the Kanaujia
Brahmans of Bengal are split into several local subcastes named
after tracts in Bengal, who marry among themselves and neither with
other Kanaujias of Bengal nor with those of northern India. Since the
opening of railways people can travel long distances to marriage and
other ceremonies, and the tendency to form new subcastes is somewhat
checked; a native gentleman said to me, when speaking of his people,
that when a few families of Khedawal Brahmans from Gujarat first
settled in Damoh they had the greatest difficulty in arranging their
marriages; they could not marry with their caste-fellows in Gujarat
because their sons and daughters could not establish themselves, that
is, could not prove their identity as Khedawal Brahmans; but since the
railway has been opened intermarriage takes place freely with other
Khedawals in Gujarat and Benares. Proposals are on foot to authorise
the intermarriage of the three great subcastes of Maratha Brahmans:
Deshasth, Konkonasth and Karhara. As a rule, there is no difference
of status between the different local subcastes, and a man's subcaste
is often not known except to his own caste-fellows. But occasionally
a certain derogatory sense may be conveyed; in several castes of the
Central Provinces there is a subcaste called Jharia or jungly, a term
applied to the oldest residents, who are considered to have lapsed in
a comparatively new and barbarous country from the orthodox practices
of Hinduism. The subcaste called Deshi, or 'belonging to the country,'
sometimes has the same signification. The large majority of subcastes
are of the local or territorial type.

46. Occupational subcastes.

Many subcastes are also formed from slight differences of occupation,
which are not of sufficient importance to create new castes. Some
instances of subcastes formed from growing special plants or crops have
been given. Audhia Sunars (goldsmiths) work in brass and bell-metal,
which is less respectable than the sacred metal, gold. The Ekbeile
Telis harness one bullock only to the oil-press and the Dobeile two
bullocks. As it is thought sinful to use the sacred ox in this manner
and to cover his eyes as the Telis do, it may be slightly more sinful
to use two bullocks than one. The Udia Ghasias (grass-cutters) cure
raw hides and do scavengers' work, and are hence looked down upon
by the others; the Dingkuchia Ghasias castrate cattle and horses,
and the Dolboha carry dhoolies and palanquins. The Mangya Chamars are
beggars and rank below all other subcastes, from whom they will accept
cooked food. Frequently, however, subcastes are formed from a slight
distinction of occupation, which connotes no real difference in social
status. The Hathgarhia Kumhars (potters) are those who used to fashion
the clay with their own hands, and the Chakarias those who turned it
on a wheel. And though the practice of hand pottery is now abandoned,
the divisions remain. The Shikari or sportsmen Pardhis (hunters)
are those who use firearms, though far from being sportsmen in our
sense of the term; the Phanse Pardhis hunt with traps and snares;
the Chitewale use a tame leopard to run down deer, and the Gayake
stalk their prey behind a bullock. Among the subcastes of Dhimars
(fishermen and watermen) are the Singaria, who cultivate the _singara_
or water-nut in tanks, the Tankiwalas or sharpeners of grindstones,
the Jhingars or prawn-catchers, the Bansias and Saraias or anglers
(from _bansi_ or _sarai_, a bamboo fishing-rod), the Kasdhonias
who wash the sands of the sacred rivers to find the coins thrown
or dropped into them by pious pilgrims, and the Sonjharas who wash
the sands of auriferous streams for their particles of gold. [89]
The Gariwan Dangris have adopted the comparatively novel occupation
of driving carts (_gari_) for a livelihood, and the Panibhar are
water-carriers, while the ordinary occupation of the Dangris is to grow
melons in river-beds. It is unnecessary to multiply instances; here,
as in the case of territorial subcastes, the practice of subdivision
appears to have been extended from motives of convenience, and the
slight difference of occupation is adopted as a distinguishing badge.

47. Subcastes formed from social or religious differences, or from
mixed descent.

Subcastes are also occasionally formed from differences of social
practice which produce some slight gain or loss of status. Thus
the Biyahut or 'Married' Kalars prohibit the remarriage of widows,
saying that a woman is married once for all, and hence rank a little
higher than the others. The Dosar Banias, on the other hand, are said
to take their name from _dusra_, second, because they allow a widow
to marry a second time and are hence looked upon by the others as a
second-class lot. The Khedawal Brahmans are divided into the 'outer'
and 'inner': the inner subdivision being said to exist of those who
accepted presents from the Raja of Kaira and remained in his town,
while the outer refused the presents, quitted the town and dwelt
outside. The latter rank a little higher than the former. The Suvarha
Dhimars keep pigs and the Gadhewale donkeys, and are considered to
partake of the impure nature of these animals. The Gobardhua Chamars
wash out and eat the undigested grain from the droppings of cattle
on the threshing-floors. The Chungia group of the Satnami Chamars
are those who smoke the _chongi_ or leaf-pipe, though smoking is
prohibited to the Satnamis. The Nagle or 'naked' Khonds have only
a negligible amount of clothing and are looked down upon by the
others. The Makaria Kamars eat monkeys and are similarly despised.

Subcastes are also formed from mixed descent. The Dauwa Ahirs are held
to be the offspring of Ahir women who were employed as wet-nurses in
the houses of Bundela Rajputs and bore children to their masters. The
Halbas and Rautias are divided into subcastes known as Purait or
'pure,' and Surait or of 'mixed' descent. Many castes have a subcaste
to which the progeny of illicit unions is relegated, such as the Dogle
Kayasths, and the Lahuri Sen subcaste of Barais, Banias and other
castes. Illegitimate children in the Kasar (brass-worker) caste form
a subcaste known as Takle or 'thrown out,' Vidur or 'illegitimate,'
or Laondi Bachcha, the issue of a kept wife. In Berar the Mahadeo
Kolis, called after the Mahadeo or Pachmarhi hills, are divided into
the Khas, or 'pure,' and the Akaramase or 'mixed'; this latter word
means gold or silver composed of eleven parts pure metal and one part
alloy. Many subcastes of Bania have subcastes known as Bisa or Dasa,
that is 'Twenty' or 'Ten' groups, the former being of pure descent or
twenty-carat, as it were, and the latter the offspring of remarried
widows or other illicit unions. In the course of some generations
such mixed groups frequently regain full status in the caste.

Subcastes are also formed from members of other castes who have taken
to the occupation of the caste in question and become amalgamated
with it; thus the Korchamars are Koris (weavers) adopted into the
Chamar (tanner) caste; Khatri Chhipas are Khatris who have become
dyers and printers; the small Dangri caste has subcastes called Teli,
Kalar and Kunbi, apparently consisting of members of those castes who
have become Dangris; the Baman Darzis or tailors will not take food
from any one except Brahmans and may perhaps be derived from them,
and the Kaith Darzis may be Kayasths; and so on.

Occasionally subcastes may be formed from differences of religious
belief or sectarian practice. In northern India even such leading Hindu
castes as Rajputs and Jats have large Muhammadan branches, who as a
rule do not intermarry with Hindus. The ordinary Hindu sects seldom,
however, operate as a bar to marriage, Hinduism being tolerant of
all forms of religious belief. Those Chamars of Chhattisgarh who have
embraced the doctrines of the Satnami reforming sect form a separate
endogamous subcaste, and sometimes the members of the Kabirpanthi
sect within a caste marry among themselves.

Statistics of the subcastes are not available, but their numbers are
very extensive in proportion to the population, and even in the same
subcaste the members living within a comparatively small local area
often marry among themselves and attend exclusively at their own
caste feasts, though in the case of educated and well-to-do Hindus
the construction of railways has modified this rule and connections
are kept up between distant groups of relatives. Clearly therefore
differences of occupation or social status are not primarily
responsible for the subcastes, because in the majority of cases
no such differences really exist. I think the real reason for their
multiplication was the necessity that the members of a subcaste should
attend at the caste feasts on the occasion of marriages, deaths
and readmission of offenders, these feasts being of the nature of
a sacrificial or religious meal. The grounds for this view will be
given subsequently.

48. Exogamous groups.

The caste or subcaste forms the outer circle within which a man must
marry. Inside it are a set of further subdivisions which prohibit the
marriage of persons related through males. These are called exogamous
groups or clans, and their name among the higher castes is _gotra_. The
theory is that all persons belonging to the same _gotra_ are descended
from the same male ancestor, and so related. The relationship in the
_gotra_ now only goes by the father's side; when a woman marries
she is taken into the clan of her husband and her children belong
to it. Marriage is not allowed within the clan and in the course of
a few generations the marriage of persons related through males or
agnates is prohibited within a very wide circle. But on the mother's
side the _gotra_ does not serve as a bar to marriage and the union
of first cousins would be possible, other than the children of two
brothers. According to Hindu law, intermarriage is prohibited within
four degrees between persons related through females. But generally
the children of first cousins are allowed to marry, when related
partly through females. And several castes allow the intermarriage of
first cousins, that of a brother's daughter to a sister's son and in a
less degree of a brother's son to a sister's daughter being specially
favoured. One or two Madras castes allow a man to marry his niece,
and the small Dhoba caste of Mandla permit the union of children of
the same mother but different fathers.

Sir Herbert Risley classed the names of exogamous divisions as
eponymous, territorial or local, titular and totemistic. In the body of
this work the word clan is usually applied only to the large exogamous
groups of the Rajputs and one or two other military castes. The small
local or titular groups of ordinary Hindu castes are called 'section,'
and the totemic groups of the primitive tribes 'sept.' But perhaps
it is simpler to use the word 'clan' throughout according to the
practice of Sir J.G. Frazer. The vernacular designations of the clans
or sections are _gotra_, which originally meant a stall or cow-pen;
_khero_, a village; _dih_, a village site; _baink_, a title; _mul_
or _mur_, literally a root, hence an origin; and _kul_ or _kuri_, a
family. The sections called eponymous are named after Rishis or saints
mentioned in the Vedas and other scriptures and are found among the
Brahmans and a few of the higher castes, such as Vasishta, Garga,
Bharadwaj, Vishvamitra, Kashyap and so on. A few Rajput clans are
named after kings or heroes, as the Raghuvansis from king Raghu of
Ajodhia and the Tilokchandi Bais from a famous king of that name. The
titular class of names comprise names of offices supposed to have
been held by the founder of the clan, or titles and names referring
to a personal defect or quality, and nicknames. Instances of the
former are Kotwar (village watchman), Chaudhri, Meher or Mahto (caste
headman), Bhagat (saint), Thakuria and Rawat (lord or prince), Vaidya
(physician); and of titular names and nicknames: Kuldip (lamp of the
family), Mohjaria (one with a burnt mouth), Jachak (beggar), Garkata
(cut-throat), Bhatpagar (one serving on a pittance of boiled rice),
Kangali (poor), Chikat (dirty), Petdukh (stomach-ache), Ghunnere
(worm-eater) and so on. A special class of names are those of offices
held at the caste feasts; thus the clans of the Chitrakathi caste are
the Atak or Mankari, who furnish the headman of the caste _panchayat_
or committee; the Bhojin who serve the food at marriages and other
ceremonies; the Kakra who arrange for the lighting; the Gotharya
who keep the provisions, and the Ghorerao (_ghora_, a horse) who
have the duty of looking after the horses and bullock-carts of the
caste-men who assemble. Similarly the five principal clans of the
small Turi caste are named after the five sons of Singhbonga or the
sun: the eldest son was called Mailuar and his descendants are the
leaders or headmen of the caste; the descendants of the second son,
Chardhagia, purify and readmit offenders to caste intercourse; those
of the third son, Suremar, conduct the ceremonial shaving of such
offenders, and those of the fourth son bring water for the ceremony
and are called Tirkuar. The youngest brother, Hasdagia, is said
to have committed some caste offence, and the four other brothers
took the parts which are still played by their descendants in his
ceremony of purification. In many cases exogamous clans are named
after other castes or subcastes. Many low castes have adopted the
names of the Rajput clans, either from simple vanity as people may
take an aristocratic surname, or because they were in the service of
Rajputs, and have adopted the names of their masters or are partly
descended from them. Other names of castes found among exogamous
groups probably indicate that an ancestor belonging to that caste was
taken into the one in which the group is found. The Bhaina tribe have
clans named after the Dhobi, Ahir, Gond, Mali and Panka castes. The
members of such clans pay respect to any man belonging to the caste
after which they are named and avoid picking a quarrel with him;
they also worship the family gods of the caste.

Territorial names are very common, and are taken from that of some
town or village in which the ancestor of the clan or the members of the
clan themselves resided. [90] The names are frequently distorted, and
it seems probable that the majority of the large number of clan names
for which no meaning can be discovered were those of villages. These
unknown names are probably more numerous than the total of all those
classes of names to which a meaning can be assigned.

49. Totemistic clans.

The last class of exogamous divisions are those called totemistic,
when the clan is named after a plant or animal or other natural
object. These are almost universal among the non-Aryan or primitive
tribes, but occur also in most Hindu castes, including some of the
highest. The commonest totem names are those of the prominent animals,
including several which are held sacred by the Hindus, as _bagh_
or _nahar_, the tiger; _bachas_, the calf; _morkuria_, the peacock;
_kachhwaha_ or _limuan_, the tortoise; _nagas_, the cobra; _hasti_, the
elephant; _bandar_, the monkey; _bhainsa_, the buffalo; _richharia_,
the bear; _kuliha_, the jackal; _kukura_, the dog; _karsayal_,
the deer; _heran_, the black-buck, and so on. The utmost variety
of names is found, and numerous trees, as well as rice, kodon and
other crops, salt, sandalwood, cucumber, pepper, and some household
implements, such as the pestle and rolling-slab, serve as names of
clans. Names which may be held to have a totemistic origin occur
even in the highest castes. Thus among the names of eponymous Rishis
or saints, Bharadwaj means a lark, Kaushik may be from the _kusha_
grass, Agastya from the _agasti_ flower, Kashyap from _kachhap_,
a tortoise; Taittiri from _titar_, a partridge, and so on. Similarly
the origin of other Rishis is attributed to animals, as Rishishringa
to an antelope, Mandavya to a frog, and Kanada to an owl. [91] An
inferior Rajput clan, Meshbansi, signifies descendants of the sheep,
while the name of the Baghel clan is derived from the tiger (bagh),
that of the Kachhwaha clan perhaps from _kachhap_, a tortoise, of
the Haihaivansi from the horse, of the Nagvansi from the cobra, and
of the Tomara clan from _tomar_, a club. The Karan or writer caste
of Orissa, similarly, have clans derived from the cobra, tortoise
and calf, and most of the cultivating and other middle castes have
clans with totemistic names. The usual characteristics of totemism,
in its later and more common form at any rate, are that members of a
clan regard themselves as related to, or descended from, the animal
or tree from which the clan takes its name, and abstain from killing
or eating it. This was perhaps not the original relation of the clan
to its clan totem in the hunting stage, but it is the one commonly
found in India, where the settled agricultural stage has long been
reached. The Bhaina tribe have among their totems the cobra, tiger,
leopard, vulture, hawk, monkey, wild dog, quail, black ant, and so
on. Members of a clan will not injure the animal after which it is
named, and if they see the corpse of the animal or hear of its death
they throw away an earthen cooking-pot, and bathe and shave themselves
as for one of the family. At a wedding the bride's father makes an
image in clay of the bird or animal of the groom's sept and places it
beside the marriage-post. The bridegroom worships the image, lighting
a sacrificial fire before it, and offers to it the vermilion which
he afterwards smears on the forehead of the bride. Women are often
tattooed with representations of their totem animal, and men swear
by it as their most sacred oath. A similar respect is paid to the
inanimate objects after which certain septs are named. Thus members
of the Gawad or cowdung clan will not burn cowdung cakes for fuel;
and those of the Mircha clan do not use chillies. One clan is named
after the sun, and when an eclipse occurs they perform the same formal
rites of mourning as others do on the death of their totem animal. The
Baghani clan of Majhwars, named after the tiger, think that a tiger
will not attack any member of their clan unless he has committed an
offence entailing temporary excommunication from caste. Until this
offence has been expiated his relationship with the tiger as head of
the clan is in abeyance, and the tiger will eat him as he would any
other stranger. If a tiger meets a member of the clan who is free from
sin, he will run away. Members of the Khoba or peg clan will not make a
peg nor drive one into the ground. Those of the Dumar or fig-tree clan
say that their first ancestor was born under this tree. They consider
the tree to be sacred and never eat its fruit, and worship it once a
year. Sometimes the members of the clan do not revere the object after
which it is named but some other important animal or plant. Thus the
Markam clan of Gonds, named after the mango-tree, venerate the tortoise
and do not kill it. The Kathotia clan of Kols is named after _kathota_,
a bowl, but they revere the tiger. Bagheshwar Deo, the tiger-god,
resides on a little platform in their verandas. They may not join
in a tiger-beat nor sit up for a tiger over a kill. In the latter
case they think that the tiger would not come and would be deprived
of his food, and all the members of their family would get ill. The
Katharia clan take their name from _kathri_, a mattress. A member of
this sept must never have a mattress in his house, nor wear clothes
sewn in crosspieces as mattresses are sewn. The name of the Mudia or
Mudmudia clan is said to mean shaven head, but they apparently revere
the white _kumhra_ or gourd, perhaps because it has some resemblance to
a shaven head. They give a white gourd to a woman on the day after she
has borne a child, and her family then do not eat this vegetable for
three years. The Kumraya sept revere the brown _kumhra_ or gourd. They
grow this vegetable on the thatch of their house-roof and from the time
of planting it till the fruits have been plucked they do not touch it,
though of course they afterwards eat the fruits. The Bhuwar sept
are named after _bhu_ or _bhumi_, the earth. They must always
sleep on the earth and not on cots. The Nun (salt) and Dhan (rice)
clans of Oraons cannot dispense with eating their totems or titular
ancestors. But the Dhan Oraons content themselves with refusing to
consume the scum which thickens on the surface of the boiled rice,
and the Nun sept will not lick a plate in which salt and water have
been mixed. At the weddings of the Vulture clan of the small Bhona
caste one member of the clan kills a small chicken by biting off the
head and then eats it in imitation of a vulture. Definite instances
of the sacrificial eating of the totem animal have not been found,
but it is said that the tiger and snake clans of the Bhatra tribe
formerly ate their totems at a sacrificial meal. The Gonds also
worship the cobra as a household god, and once a year they eat the
flesh of the snake and think that by doing so they will be immune
from snake-bite throughout the year. On the festival of Nag-Panchmi
the Mahars make an image of a snake with flour and sugar and eat
it. It is reported that the Singrore Dhimars who work on rivers and
tanks must eat the flesh of a crocodile at their weddings, while the
Sonjharas who wash the sands of rivers for gold should catch a live
crocodile for the occasion of the wedding and afterwards put it back
into the river. These latter customs may probably have fallen into
abeyance owing to the difficulty of catching a crocodile, and in any
case the animals are tribal gods rather than totems.

50. Terms of relationship.

Exogamy and totemism are found not only in India, but are the
characteristics of primitive social groups over the greater part
of the world. Totemism establishes a relation of kinship between
persons belonging to one clan who are not related by blood, and
exogamy prescribes that the persons held to be so related shall not
intermarry. Further, when terms of relationship come into existence it
is found that they are applied not to members of one family, but to
all the persons of the clan who might have stood in each particular
relationship to the person addressing them. Thus a man will address
as mother not only his own mother, but all the women of his clan who
might have stood to him in the relation of mother. Similarly he will
address all the old men and women as grandfather or grandmother or
aunt, and the boys and girls of his own generation as brother and
sister, and so on. With the development of the recognition of the
consanguineous family, the use of terms of relationship tends to
be restricted to persons who have actual kinship; thus a boy will
address only his father's brothers as father, and his cousins as
brothers and sisters; but sufficient traces of the older system of
clan kinship remain to attest its former existence. But it seems also
clear that some, at least, of the terms of relationship were first
used between persons really related; thus the word for mother must
have been taught by mothers to their own babies beginning to speak,
as it is a paramount necessity for a small child to have a name by
which to call its mother when it is wholly dependent on her; if the
period of infancy is got over without the use of this term of address
there is no reason why it should be introduced in later life, when
in the primitive clan the child quickly ceased to be dependent on its
mother or to retain any strong affection for her. Similarly, as shown
by Sir J.G. Frazer in _Totemism and Exogamy_, there is often a special
name for the mother's brother when other uncles or aunts are addressed
simply as father or mother. This name must therefore have been brought
into existence to distinguish the mother's brother at the time when,
under the system of female descent, he stood in the relation of a
protector and parent to the child. Where the names for grandfather and
grandmother are a form of duplication of those for father and mother
as in English, they would appear to imply a definite recognition of
the idea of family descent. The majority of the special names for
other relatives, such as fraternal and maternal uncles and aunts,
must also have been devised to designate those relatives in particular,
and hence there is a probability that the terms for father and brother
and sister, which on _a priori_ grounds may be considered doubtful,
were also first applied to real or putative fathers and brothers and
sisters. But, as already seen, under the classificatory system of
relationship these same terms are addressed to members of the same
clan who might by age and sex have stood in such a relationship to
the person addressing them, but are not actually akin to him at
all. And hence it seems a valid and necessary conclusion that at
the time when the family terms of relationship came into existence,
the clan sentiment of kinship was stronger than the family sentiment;
that is, a boy was taught or made to feel that all the women of the
clan of about the same age as his mother were as nearly akin to him
as his own mother, and that he should regard them all in the same
relation. And similarly he looked on all the men of the clan of an age
enabling them to be his fathers in the same light as his own father,
and all the children of or about his own age as his brothers and
sisters. The above seems a necessary conclusion from the existence
of the classificatory system of relationship, which is very widely
spread among savages, and if admitted, it follows that the sentiment of
kinship within the clan was already established when the family terms
of relationship were devised, and therefore that the clan was prior
to the family as a social unit. This conclusion is fortified by the
rule of exogamy which prohibits marriage between persons of the same
clan between whom no blood-relationship can be traced, and therefore
shows that some kind of kinship was believed to exist between them,
independent of and stronger than the link of consanguinity. Further,
Mr. Hartland shows in _Primitive Paternity_ [92] that during the period
of female descent when physical paternity has been recognised, but the
father and mother belong to different clans, the children, being of
the mother's clan, will avenge a blood-feud of their clan upon their
own father; and this custom seems to show clearly that the sentiment
of clan-kinship was prior to and stronger than that of family kinship.

51. Clan kinship and totemism.

The same argument seems to demonstrate that the idea of kinship within
the clan was prior to the idea of descent from a common ancestor,
whether an animal or plant, a god, hero or nicknamed ancestor. Because
it is obvious that a set of persons otherwise unconnected could not
suddenly and without reason have believed themselves to be descended
from a common ancestor and hence related. If a number of persons not
demonstrably connected by blood believe themselves to be akin simply
on account of their descent from a common ancestor, it can only be
because they are an expanded family, either actually or by fiction,
which really had or might have had a common ancestor. That is, the
clan tracing its descent from a common ancestor, if this was the
primary type of clan, must have been subsequent to the family as
a social institution. But as already seen the sentiment of kinship
within the clan was prior to that within the family, and therefore
the genesis of the clan from an expanded family is an impossible
hypothesis; and it follows that the members of the clan must first
have believed themselves to be bound together by some tie equivalent to
or stronger than that of consanguineous kinship, and afterwards, when
the primary belief was falling into abeyance, that of descent from a
common ancestor came into existence to account for the clan sentiment
of kinship already existing. If then the first form of association
of human beings was in small groups, which led a migratory life and
subsisted mainly by hunting and the consumption of fruits and roots,
as the Australian natives still do, the sentiment of kinship must
first have arisen, as stated by Mr. M'Lennan, in that small body
which lived and hunted together, and was due simply to the fact that
they were so associated, that they obtained food for each other, and
on occasion protected and preserved each other's lives. [93] These
small bodies of persons were the first social units, and according to
our knowledge of the savage peoples who are nearest to the original
migratory and hunting condition of life, without settled habitations,
domestic animals or cultivated plants, they first called themselves
after some animal or plant, usually, as Sir J.G. Frazer has shown in
_Totemism and Exogamy_, [94] after some edible animal or plant. The
most probable theory of totemism on _a priori_ grounds seems therefore
to be that the original small bodies who lived and hunted together, or
totem-clans, called themselves after the edible animal or plant from
which they principally derived their sustenance, or that which gave
them life. While the real tie which connected them was that of living
together, they did not realise this, and supposed themselves to be akin
because they commonly ate this animal or plant together. This theory
of totemism was first promulgated by Professor Robertson Smith and,
though much disputed, appears to me to be the most probable. It has
also been advocated by Dr. A.C. Haddon, F.R.S. [95] The Gaelic names
for family, _teadhloch_ and _cuedichc_ or _coedichc_, mean, the first,
'having a common residence,' the second, 'those who eat together.' [96]
The detailed accounts of the totems of the Australian, Red Indian and
African tribes, now brought together by Sir J.G. Frazer in _Totemism
and Exogamy_, show a considerable amount of evidence that the early
totems were not only as a rule edible animals, but the animals
eaten by the totem-clans which bore their names. [97] But after the
domestication of animals and the culture of plants had been attained
to, the totems ceased to be the chief means of subsistence. Hence the
original tie of kinship was supplanted by another and wider one in the
tribe, and though the totem-clans remained and continued to fulfil an
important purpose, they were no longer the chief social group. And in
many cases, as man had also by now begun to speculate on his origin,
the totems came to be regarded as ancestors, and the totem-clans,
retaining their sentiment of kinship, accounted for it by supposing
themselves to be descended from a common ancestor. They thus also
came to base the belief in clan-kinship on the tie of consanguinity
recognised in the family, which had by now come into existence. This
late and secondary form of totemism is that which obtains in India,
where the migratory and hunting stage has long been passed. The Indian
evidence is, however, of great value because we find here in the same
community, occasionally in the same caste, exogamous clans which
trace their descent sometimes from animals and plants, or totems,
and sometimes from gods, heroes, or titular ancestors, while many
of the clans are named after villages or have names to which no
meaning can be attached. As has been seen, there is good reason to
suppose that all these forms of the exogamous clan are developed from
the earliest form of the totem-clan; and since this later type of
clan has developed from the totem-clan in India, it is a legitimate
deduction that wherever elsewhere exogamous clans are found tracing
their descent from a common ancestor or with unintelligible names,
probably derived from places, they were probably also evolved from
the totem-clan. This type of clan is shown in Professor Hearn's _Aryan
Household_ to have been the common unit of society over much of Europe,
where no traces of the existence of totemism are established. [98]
And from the Indian analogy it is therefore legitimate to presume
that the totem-clan may have been the original unit of society among
several European races as well as in America, Africa, Australia and
India. Similar exogamous clans exist in China, and many of them have
the names of plants and animals. [99]

52. Animate Creation.

In order to render clear the manner in which the clan named after a
totem animal (or, less frequently, a plant) came to hold its members
akin both to each other and their totem animals, an attempt may be
made to indicate, however briefly and imperfectly, some features
of primitive man's conception of nature and life. Apparently when
they began dimly to observe and form conscious mental impressions
of the world around them, our first ancestors made some cardinal,
though natural and inevitable, mistakes. In the first place they
thought that the whole of nature was animate, and that every animal,
plant, or natural object which they saw around them, was alive and
self-conscious like themselves. They had, of course, no words or
ideas connoting life or consciousness, or distinguishing animals,
vegetables or lifeless objects, and they were naturally quite incapable
of distinguishing them. They merely thought that everything they saw
was like themselves, would feel hurt and resentment if injured, and
would know what was done to it, and by whom; whenever they saw the
movement of an animal, plant, or other object, they thought it was
volitional and self-conscious like their own movements. If they saw
a tree waving in the wind, having no idea or conception of the wind,
they thought the tree was moving its branches about of its own accord;
if a stone fell, they, knowing nothing of the force of gravity, thought
the stone projected itself from one place to another because it wished
to do so. This is exactly the point of view taken by children when
they first begin to observe. They also think that everything they see
is alive like themselves, and that animals exercise volition and have
a self-conscious intelligence like their own. But they quickly learn
their mistakes and adopt the point of view of their elders because
they are taught. Primitive man had no one to teach him, and as he did
not co-ordinate or test his observations, the traces of this first
conception of the natural world remain clearly indicated by a vast
assortment of primitive customs and beliefs to the present day. All
the most prominent natural objects, the sun and moon, the sky, the sea,
high mountains, rivers and springs, the earth, the fire, became objects
of veneration and were worshipped as gods, and this could not possibly
have happened unless they had been believed to have life. Stone images
and idols are considered as living gods. In India girls are married
to flowers, trees, arrows, swords, and so on. A bachelor is married
to a ring or a plant before wedding a widow, and the first ceremony
is considered as his true marriage. The Saligram, or ammonite stone,
is held to represent the god Vishnu, perhaps because it was thought
to be a thunderbolt and to have fallen from heaven. Its marriage is
celebrated with the _tulsi_ or basil-plant, which is considered the
consort of Vishnu. Trees are held to be animate and possessed by
spirits, and before a man climbs a tree he begs its pardon for the
injury he is about to inflict on it. When a tank is dug, its marriage
is celebrated. To the ancient Roman his hearth was a god; the walls and
doors and threshold of his house were gods; the boundaries of his field
were also gods. [100] It is precisely the same with the modern Hindu;
he also venerates the threshold of his house, the cooking-hearth, the
grinding-mill, and the boundaries of his field. The Jains still think
that all animals, plants and inanimate objects have souls or spirits
like human beings. The belief in a soul or spirit is naturally not
primitive, as man could not at first conceive of anything he did not
see or hear, but plants and inanimate objects could not subsequently
have been credited with the possession of souls or spirits unless they
had previously been thought to be alive. "The Fijians consider that
if an animal or a plant dies its soul immediately goes to Bolotoo;
if a stone or any other substance is broken, immortality is equally
its reward; nay, artificial bodies have equal good luck with men
and hogs and yams. If an axe or a chisel is worn out or broken up,
away flies its soul for the service of the gods. If a house is taken
down or any way destroyed, its immortal part will find a situation on
the plains of Bolotoo. The Finns believed that all inanimate objects
had their _haltia_ or soul." [101] The Malays think that animals,
vegetables and minerals, as well as human beings, have souls. [102]
The Kawar tribe are reported to believe that all articles of furniture
and property have souls or spirits, and if any such is stolen the
spirit will punish the thief. Theft is consequently almost unknown
among them. All the fables about animals and plants speaking and
exercising volition; the practice of ordeals, resting on the belief
that the sacred living elements, fire and water, will of themselves
discriminate between the innocent and guilty; the propitiatory
offerings to the sea and to rivers, such incidents as Xerxes binding
the sea with fetters, Ajax defying the lightning, Aaron's rod that
budded, the superstitions of sailors about ships: all result from
the same primitive belief. Many other instances of self-conscious
life and volition being attributed to animals, plants and natural
objects are given by Lord Avebury in _Origin of Civilisation_, by
Dr. Westermarck in _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_,
[103] and by Sir J.G. Frazer in _The Golden Bough_ [104]

Thus primitive man had no conception of inanimate matter, and it seems
probable that he did not either realise the idea of death. Though
it may be doubtful whether any race exists at present which does not
understand that death is the cessation of life in the body, indications
remain that this view was not primary and may not have been acquired
for some time. The Gonds apparently once thought that people would not
die unless they were killed by magic, and similar beliefs are held by
the Australian and African savages. Several customs also point to the
belief in the survival of some degree of life in the body after death,
apart from the idea of the soul.

53. The distribution of life over the body.

Primitive man further thought that life, instead of being concentrated
in certain organs, was distributed equally over the whole of the
body. This mistake appears also to have been natural and inevitable
when it is remembered that he had no name for the body, the different
limbs and the internal organs, and no conception of their existence and
distribution, nor of the functions which they severally performed. He
perceived that sensation extended over all parts of the body, and
that when any part was hurt or wounded the blood flowed and life
gradually declined in vigour and ebbed away. For this reason the blood
was subsequently often identified with the life. During the progress
of culture many divergent views have been held about the source and
location of life and mental and physical qualities, and the correct
one that life is centred in the heart and brain, and that the brain is
the seat of intelligence and mental qualities has only recently been
arrived at. We still talk about people being hard-hearted, kind-hearted
and heartless, and about a man's heart being in the right place, as if
we supposed that the qualities of kindness and courage were located in
the heart, and determined by the physical constitution and location of
the heart. The reason for this is perhaps that the soul was held to be
the source of mental qualities, and to be somewhere in the centre of
the body, and hence the heart came to be identified with it. As shown
by Sir J.G. Frazer in _The Golden Bough_ many peoples or races have
thought that the life and qualities were centred in the whole head,
not merely in the brain. And this is the reason why Hindus will not
appear abroad with the head bare, why it is a deadly insult to knock
off a man's turban, and why turbans or other head-gear were often
exchanged as a solemn pledge of friendship. The superstition against
walking under a ladder may have originally been based on some idea
of its being derogatory or dangerous to the head, though not, of
course, from the fear of being struck by a falling brick. Similarly,
as shown in the article on Nai, the belief that the bodily strength
and vigour were located in the hair, and to a less extent in the
nails and teeth, has had a world-wide prevalence. But this cannot
have been primary, because the hair had first to be conceived of
apart from the rest of the body, and a separate name devised for it,
before the belief that the hair was the source of strength could
gradually come into existence. The evolution of these ideas may have
extended over thousands of years. The expression 'white-livered,'
again, seems to indicate that the quality of courage was once held to
be located in the liver, and the belief that the liver was the seat
of life was perhaps held by the Gonds. But the primary idea seems
necessarily to have been that the life was equally distributed all
over the body. And since, as will be seen subsequently, the savage
was incapable of conceiving the abstract idea of life, he thought of
it in a concrete form as part of the substance of the flesh and blood.

And since primitive man had no conception of inanimate matter it
followed that when any part of the body was severed from the whole,
he did not think of the separate fraction as merely lifeless matter,
but as still a part of the body to which it had originally belonged and
retaining a share of its life. For according to his view of the world
and of animate nature, which has been explained above, he could not
think of it as anything else. Thus the clippings of hair, nails, teeth,
the spittle and any other similar products all in his view remained
part of the body from which they had been severed and retained part of
its life. In the case of the elements, earth, fire and water, which
he considered as living beings and subsequently worshipped as gods,
this view was correct. Fractional portions of earth, fire and water,
when severed from the remainder, retained their original nature and
constitution, and afforded some support to his generally erroneous
belief. And since he had observed that an injury done to any part
of the body was an injury to the whole, it followed that if one got
possession of any part of the body, such as the severed hair, teeth
or nails, one could through them injure that body of which they still
formed a part. It is for this reason that savages think that if an
enemy can obtain possession of any waste product of the body, such
as the severed hair or nails, that he can injure the owner through
them. Similarly the Hindus thought that the clippings of the hair or
nails, if buried in fertile ground, would grow into a plant, through
the life which they retained, and as this plant waxed in size it
would absorb more and more of the original owner's life, which would
consequently wane and decline. The worship of relics, such as the
bones or hair of saints, is based on the same belief that they retain
a part of the divine life and virtue of him to whom they once belonged.

54. Qualities associated with animals.

It is probable that qualities were first conceived of by being observed
in animals or natural objects. Prior to the introduction of personal
names, the individuality of human beings could neither be clearly
realised nor remembered after they were dead. But man must have
perceived at an early period that certain animals were stronger or
swifter than he was, or more cunning, and since the same quality was
reproduced in every animal of the species, it could easily become
permanently associated with the animal. But there were no names
for qualities, nor any independent conception of them apart from the
animal or animals in which they were observed. Supposing that strength
and swiftness were mainly associated with the horse, as was often
the case, then they would be necessarily conceived of as a part or
essence of the horse and his life, not in the way we think of them,
as qualities appertaining to the horse on account of the strength
of his muscles and the conformation of his limbs. When names were
devised for these qualities, they would be something equivalent to
horsey or horse-like. The association of qualities with animals is
still shown in such words as asinine, owlish, foxy, leonine, mulish,
dogged, tigerish, and so on; but since the inferiority of animals
to man has long been recognised, most of the animal adjectives have
a derogatory sense. [105] It was far otherwise with primitive man,
who first recognised the existence of the qualities most necessary
to him, as strength, courage, swiftness, sagacity, cunning and
endurance, as being displayed by certain animals in a greater degree
than he possessed them himself. Birds he admired and venerated as
being able to rise and fly in the air, which he could not do; fish
for swimming and remaining under water when he could not; while at
the same time he had not as yet perceived that the intelligence of
animals was in any way inferior to his own, and he credited many of
them with the power of speech. Thus certain animals were venerated on
account of the qualities associated with them, and out of them in the
course of time anthropomorphic gods personifying the qualities were
evolved. The Australian aborigines of the kangaroo totem, when they
wish to multiply the number of kangaroos, go to a certain place where
two special blocks of stone project immediately one above the other
from the hillside. One is supposed to represent an 'old man' kangaroo
and the other a female. The stones are rubbed and then painted with
alternate red and white stripes, the red stripes representing the red
fur of the kangaroos, and the white ones its bones. After doing this
some of them open veins in their arms and allow the blood to spurt
over the stones. The other men sing chants referring to the increase
in the numbers of the kangaroos, and they suppose that this ceremony
will actually result in producing an increased number of kangaroos
and hence an additional supply of food. [106] Here the inference
seems to be that the stones represent the centre or focus of the
life of kangaroos, and when they are quickened by the painting, and
the supply of blood, they will manifest their creative activity and
increase the kangaroos. If we suppose that some similar stone existed
on the Acropolis and was considered by the owl clan as the centre of
the life of the owls which frequented the hill, then when the art of
sculpture had made some progress, and the superiority of the human form
and intellect began to be apprehended, if a sculptor carved the stone
into the semblance of a human being, the goddess Athena would be born.

55. Primitive language.

It has been seen that primitive man considered the life and qualities
to be distributed equally over the body in a physical sense, so that
they formed part of the substance and flesh. The same view extended
even to instrumental qualities or functions, since his mental powers
and vision were necessarily limited by his language. Language must
apparently have begun by pointing at animals or plants and making
some sound, probably at first an imitation of the cry or other
characteristic of the animal, which came to connote it. We have to
suppose that language was at the commencement a help in the struggle
for life, because otherwise men, as yet barely emerged from the animal
stage, would never have made the painful mental efforts necessary
to devise and remember the words. Words which would be distinctly
advantageous in the struggle would be names for the animals and
plants which they ate, and for the animals which ate them. By saying
the name and pointing in any direction, the presence of such animals
or plants in the vicinity would be intimated more quickly and more
accurately than by signs or actions. Such names were then, it may
be supposed, the first words. Animals or plants of which they made
no use nor from which they apprehended any danger, would for long be
simply disregarded, as nothing was to be gained by inventing names for
them. The first words were all nouns and the names of visible objects,
and this state of things probably continued for a long period and
was the cause of many erroneous primitive conceptions and ideas. Some
traces of the earliest form of language can still be discerned. Thus of
Santali Sir G. Grierson states: "Every word can perform the function
of a verb, and every verbal form can, according to circumstances,
be considered as a noun, an adjective or a verb. It is often simply
a matter of convenience which word is considered as a noun and which
as an adjective ... Strictly speaking, in Santali there is no real
verb as distinct from the other classes of words. Every independent
word can perform the function of a verb, and every verbal form can in
its turn be used as a noun or adjective." [107] And of the Dravidian
languages he says: "The genitive of ordinary nouns is in reality an
adjective, and the difference between nouns and adjectives is of no
great importance ... Many cases are both nouns and verbs. Nouns of
agency are very commonly used as verbs." [108] Thus if it be admitted
that nouns preceded verbs as parts of speech, which will hardly be
disputed, these passages show how the semi-abstract adjectives and
verbs were gradually formed from the names of concrete nouns. Of
the language of the now extinct Tasmanian aborigines it is stated:
"Their speech was so imperfectly constituted that there was no settled
order or arrangement of words in the sentence, the sense being eked
out by face, manner and gesture, so that they could scarcely converse
in the dark, and all intercourse had to cease with nightfall. Abstract
forms scarcely existed, and while every gum-tree or wattle-tree had
its name, there was no word for 'tree' in general, nor for qualities
such as hard, soft, hot, cold, etc. Anything hard was 'like a stone,'
anything round 'like the moon,' and so on, the speaker suiting the
action to the word, and supplementing the meaning to be understood
by some gesture." [109] Here the original concrete form of language
can be clearly discerned. They had a sufficiency of names for all the
objects which were of use to them, and apparently verbal ideas were
largely conveyed by gesture. Captain Forsyth states [110] that though
the Korkus very seldom wash themselves, there exist in their language
eight words for washing, one for washing the face, another for the
hands and others for different parts of the body. Thus we see that
the verbal idea of washing was originally conceived not generally,
but separately with reference to each concrete object or noun, for
which a name existed and to which water was applied.

56. Concrete nature of primitive ideas.

The primitive languages consisted only of nouns or the names of
visible objects, possibly with the subsequent addition of a few names
for such conceptions as the wind and the voice, which could be heard,
but not seen. There were no abstract nor semi-abstract terms nor parts
of speech. The resulting inability to realise any abstract conception
and the tendency to make everything concrete is a principal and salient
characteristic of ethnology and primitive religion. [111] All actions
are judged by their concrete aspect or effects and not by the motives
which prompted them, nor the results which they produce. For a Hindu
to let a cow die with a rope round its neck is a grave caste offence,
apparently because an indignity is thus offered to the sacred animal,
but it is no offence to let a cow starve to death. A girl may be
married to inanimate objects as already seen, or to an old man or a
relative without any intention that she shall live with him as a wife,
but simply so that she may be married before reaching puberty. If she
goes through the ceremony of marriage she is held to be married. Yet
the motive for infant-marriage is held to be that a girl should begin
to bear children as soon as she is physically capable of doing so,
and such a marriage is useless from this point of view. Some castes
who cannot afford to burn a corpse hold a lighted brand to it or
kindle a little fire on the grave and consider this equivalent to
cremation. Promises are considered as concrete; among some Hindus
promises are tied up in knots of cloth, and when they are discharged
the knots are untied. Mr. S.C. Roy says of the Oraons: "Contracts are
even to this day generally not written but acted. Thus a lease of land
is made by the lessor handing over a clod of earth (which symbolises
land) to the lessee; a contract of sale of cattle is entered into by
handing over to the buyer a few blades of grass (which symbolise so
many heads of cattle); a contract of payment of bride-price is made
by the bridegroom's father or other relative handing over a number of
_baris_ or small cakes of pulse (which symbolise so many rupees) to the
bride's father or other relative; and a contract of service is made by
the mistress of the house anointing the head of the intended servant
with oil, and making a present of a few pice, and entertaining him to
a feast, thus signifying that he would receive food, lodging and some
pay." [112] Thus an abstract agreement is not considered sufficient
for a contract; in each case it must be ratified by a concrete act.

The divisions of time are considered in a concrete sense. The
fortnight or Nakshatra is presided over by its constellation, and
this is held to be a nymph or goddess, who controls events during its
course. Similarly, as shown in _The Golden Bough_, [113] many kinds
of new enterprises should be begun in the fortnight of the waxing
moon, not in that of the waning moon. Days are also thought to be
concrete and governed by their planets, and from this idea come all
the superstitions about lucky and unlucky days. If a day had been
from the beginning realised as a simple division of time no such
superstitions could exist. Events, so far as they are conceived of,
are also considered in a concrete sense. The reason why omens were
so often drawn from birds [114] is perhaps that birds fly from a
distance and hence are able to see coming events on their way; and the
hare and donkey were important animals of augury, perhaps because,
on account of their long ears, they were credited with abnormally
acute hearing, which would enable them to hear the sound of coming
events before ordinary people. The proverb 'Coming events cast their
shadows before,' appears to be a survival of this mode of belief,
as it is obvious that that which has no substance cannot cast a shadow.

The whole category of superstitions about the evil eye arises from the
belief that the glance of the eye is a concrete thing which strikes
the person or object towards which it is directed like a dart. The
theory that the injury is caused through the malice or envy of the
person casting the evil eye seems to be derivative and explanatory. If
a stranger's glance falls on the food of a Ramanuji Brahman while it
is being cooked, the food becomes polluted and must be buried in the
ground. Here it is clear that the glance of the eye is equivalent to
real contact of some part of the stranger's body, which would pollute
the food. In asking for leave in order to nurse his brother who was
seriously ill but could obtain no advantage from medical treatment,
a Hindu clerk explained that the sick man had been pierced by the
evil glance of some woman.

57. Words and names concrete.

Similarly words were considered to have a concrete force, so that
the mere repetition of words produced an effect analogous to their
sense. The purely mechanical repetition of prayers was held to be a
virtuous act, and this idea was carried to the most absurd length in
the Buddhist's praying-wheel, where merit was acquired by causing
the wheel with prayers inscribed on its surface to revolve in a
waterfall. The wearing of strips of paper, containing sacred texts,
as amulets on the body is based on this belief, and some Muhammadans
will wash off the ink from paper containing a verse of the Koran and
drink the mixture under the impression that it will do them good. Here
the belief in the concrete virtue and substance of the written word
is very clear. The Hindus think that the continued repetition of the
Gayatri or sacred prayer to the sun is a means of acquiring virtue,
and the prayer is personified as a goddess. The enunciation of the
sacred syllable Aum or Om is supposed to have the most powerful
results. Homer's phrase 'winged words' perhaps recalls the period
when the words were considered as physical entities which actually
travelled through the air from the speaker to the hearer and were
called winged because they went so fast. A Korku clan has the name
_lobo_ which means a piece of cloth. But the word _lobo_ also signifies
'to leak.' If a person says a sentence containing the word _lobo_ in
either signification before a member of the clan while he is eating,
he will throw away the food before him as if it were contaminated
and prepare a meal afresh. Here it is clear that the Korku pays no
regard to the sense but solely to the word or sound. This belief
in the concrete force of words has had the most important effects
both in law and religion. The earliest codes of law were held to be
commands of the god and claimed obedience on this ground. The binding
force of the law rested in the words and not in the sense because the
words were held to be those of the god and to partake of his divine
nature. In ancient Rome the citizen had to take care to know the
words of the law and to state them exactly. If he used one wrong word
the law gave him no assistance. "Gaius tells a story of a man whose
neighbour had cut his vines; the facts were clear; he stated the law
applying to his case, but he said vines, whereas the law said trees;
he lost his suit." [115] The divine virtue attached to the sacred
books of different religions rests on the same belief. Frequently the
books themselves are worshipped, and it was held that they could not
be translated because the sanctity resided in the actual words and
would be lost if other words were used. The efficacy of spells and
invocations seems to depend mainly on this belief in the concrete
power of words. If one knows an efficacious form of words connoting
a state of physical facts and repeats it with the proper accessory
conditions, then that state of facts is actually caused to exist;
and if one knows a man's name and calls on him with a form of words
efficacious to compel attendance, he has to come and his spirit can
similarly be summoned from the dead. When a Malay wishes to kill an
enemy he makes an image of the man, transfixes or otherwise injures
it, and buries it on the path over which the enemy will tread. As he
buries it with the impression that he will thereby cause the enemy
to die and likewise be buried, he says:

    It is not I who am burying him,
    It is Gabriel who is burying him,

and thinks that the repetition of these words produces the state of
facts which they denote so that the guilt of the murder is removed from
his own shoulders to those of the archangel Gabriel. Similarly when he
has killed a deer and wishes to be free from the guilt of his action,
or as he calls it to cast out the mischief from the deer, he says:

    It is not I who cast out these mischiefs,
    It is Michael who casts them out.
    It is not I who cast out these mischiefs,
    It is Israfel who casts them out,

and so on, freeing himself in the same manner from responsibility
for the death of the deer. [116] Names also are regarded as
concrete. Primitive man could not regard a name as an abstract
appellation, but thought of it as part of the person or thing to
which it was applied and as containing part of his life, like his
hair, spittle and the rest of his body. He would have used names
for a long period before he had any word for a name, and his first
idea of the name as a part of the substantive body to which it is
applied has survived a more correct appreciation. Thus if one knew
a person's name one could injure him by working evil on it and the
part of his life contained in it, just as one could injure him through
the clippings of his hair, his spittle, clothes or the earth pressed
by his foot. This is the reason for the common custom of having two
names, one of which, the true name, is kept secret and only used on
ceremonial occasions when it is essential, as at a wedding, while the
other is employed for everyday life. The latter, not being the man's
true name, does not contain part of his life, and hence there is no
harm in letting an enemy know it. Similarly the Hindus think that a
child's name should not be repeated at night, lest an owl might hear
it, when this bird could injure the child through its name, just as
if it got hold of a piece of cloth worn or soiled by the child. The
practice of euphemism rests on this belief, as it was thought that
if a person's name was said and a part of him was thus caused to be
present the rest would probably follow. Hence the rule of avoiding the
use of the names of persons or things of which one does not desire the
presence. Thus Sir E.B. Tylor says: "The Dayak will not speak of the
smallpox by name, but will call it 'The Chief,' or 'Jungle leaves,'
or say, 'Has He left you?' The euphemism of calling the Furies the
Eumenides, or 'Gracious Ones,' is the stock illustration of this
feeling, and the euphemisms for fairies and for the devil are too
familiar to quote." [117] Similarly the name of a god was considered
as part of him and hence partaking of his divine nature. It was thus
so potent that it could not be mentioned on ordinary occasions or by
common persons. Allah is only an epithet for the name of God among
the Muhammadans and his True or Great Name is secret. Those who know
it have power over all created things. Clearly then the divine power
is held to reside in the name itself. The concealment of the name of
the tutelary deity of Rome, for divulging which Valerius Soranus is
said to have paid the penalty of death, is a case in point. [118]
Sir E.B. Tylor gives many other interesting examples of the above
ideas and points out the connection clearly existing in the savage mind
between the name and the object to which it is applied. The Muhammadans
think that Solomon's name is very efficacious for casting out devils
and evil spirits. The practice of naming children after gods or by
the epithets or titles applied to the divine being, or after the
names of saints, appears to be due to the belief that such names,
by reason of their association with the god or saint, acquire a part
of his divine life and virtue, which when given to children the names
will in turn convey to them. [119] On the other hand, when a Hindu
mother is afraid lest her child may die, she sometimes gives it an
opprobrious name as dirt, rubbish, sweepings, or sold for one or two
cowries, so that the evil spirits who take the lives of children may
be deceived by the name and think that such a valueless child is not
worth having. The voice was also held to be concrete. The position
of the Roman tribune was peculiar, as he was not a magistrate chosen
by divine authority and hence could not summon people to his court;
but the tribune had been dedicated to the city gods, and his person
was sacrosanct. He could therefore lay hands on a man, and once the
tribune touched him, the man was held to be in the magistrate's power,
and bound to obey him. This rule extended even to those who were within
hearing of his voice; any one, even a patrician or consul, who heard
the tribune's voice was compelled to obey him. In this case it is
clear that the voice and spoken words were held to be concrete, and
to share in the sanctity attaching to the body. [120] When primitive
man could not think of a name as an abstraction but had to think of
it as an actual part of the body and life of the person or visible
object to which it belonged, it will be realised how impossible it
was for him during a long period to conceive of any abstract idea,
which was only a word without visible or corporal reality.

58. The soul or spirit.

Thus he could not at first have had any conception of a soul or
spirit, which is an unseen thing. Savages generally may have evolved
the conception of a soul or spirit as an explanation of dreams,
according to the view taken by Mr. E. Clodd in _Myths and Dreams_,
[121] Mr. Clodd shows that dreams were necessarily and invariably
considered as real events, and it could not have been otherwise, as
primitive man would have been unable to conceive the abstract idea of a
vision or fantasy. And since during dreams the body remained immobile
and quiescent, it was thought that the spirit inside the body left
it and travelled independently. Hence the reluctance often evinced
to waking a sleeper suddenly from fear lest the absent spirit might
not have time to return to the body before its awakening and hence
the man might die. Savages, not having the conception of likeness or
similarity, [122] would confuse death and sleep, because the appearance
of the body is similar in death and in sleep. Legends of the type
of Rip Van Winkle and the Sleeping Beauty, and of heroes like King
Arthur and Frederick Barbarossa lying asleep through the centuries
in some remote cave or other hiding-place, from which they will one
day issue forth to regenerate the world, perpetuate the primitive
identification of death and sleep. And the belief long prevailed that
after death the soul or spirit remained with the body in the place
where it lay, leaving the body and returning to it as the spirit was
held to do in sleep. The spirit was also thought to be able to quit
the body and enter any other body, both during life and after death;
most of the beliefs in spirit-possession and many of those about the
power of witches arise from this view. The soul or spirit was commonly
conceived of in concrete form; the Egyptians, Greeks and Hindus thought
of it as a little mannikin inside the body. After death the Hindus
often break the skull in order to allow the soul to escape. Often an
insect or a stone is thought to harbour the spirit. As shown by Sir
E. B. Tylor in _Primitive Culture_, [123] the breath, the shadow and
the pupil of the eye were sometimes held to be or to represent the
soul or spirit. Disembodied spirits are imprisoned in a tree or hole
by driving nails into the tree or ground to confine them and prevent
their exit. When a man died accidentally or a woman in childbirth and
fear was felt that their spirits might annoy or injure the living,
a stake might be driven through the body or a cairn of stones piled
over it in order to keep the ghost down and prevent it from rising
and walking. The genii of the Arabian Nights were imprisoned in
sealed bottles, and when the bottle was opened they appeared in a
cloud of vapour.

There seems every reason to suppose, as the same author suggests,
that man first thought he had a spirit himself and as a consequence
held that animals, plants and inanimate objects also contained
spirits. Because the belief that the human body had a spirit can
easily be accounted for, but there seems to be no valid reason why
man should have thought that all other visible objects also contained
spirits, except that at the period when he conceived of the existence
of a soul or spirit he still held them to be possessed of life and
self-conscious volition like himself. But certain beliefs, such as
the universal existence of life, and of its distribution all over
the body and transmission by contact and eating, the common life
of the species, and possibly totemism itself, appear to have been
pre-animistic or prior to any conception of or belief in a soul or
spirit either in man himself or in nature.

59. The tranmission of qualities.

Primitive man thought that the life and all qualities, mental
and physical, were equally distributed over the body as part of
the substance of the flesh. He thus came to think that they could
be transferred from one body or substance to another in two ways:
either by contact of the two bodies or substances, or by the eating
or assimilation of one by the other. The transmission of qualities
by contact could be indicated through simply saying the two names of
the objects in contact together, and transmission by eating through
saying the two names with a gesture of eating. Thus if one ate a piece
of tiger's flesh, one assimilated an equivalent amount of strength,
ferocity, cruelty, yellowness, and any other qualities which might be
attributed to the tiger. Warriors and youths are sometimes forbidden
to eat deer's flesh because it will make them timid, but they are
encouraged to eat the flesh of tigers, bears, and other ferocious
animals, because it will make them brave. The Gonds, if they wish
a child to be a good dancer, cause it to eat the flesh of a kind of
hawk, which hangs gracefully poised over the water, with its wings
continually flapping, on the look-out for its prey. They think that
by eating the flesh the limbs of the child will become supple like
the wings of the bird. If a child is slow in learning to speak,
they give it to eat the leaves of the pipal tree, which rustle
continually in the wind and are hence supposed to have the quality
of making a noise. All qualities, objective and instrumental, were
conceived of in the same manner, because in the absence of verbs or
abstract terms their proper relation to the subject and object could
not be stated or understood. Thus if a woman's labour in child-birth
is prolonged she is given to drink water in which the charred wood of
a tree struck by lightning has been dipped. Here it is clear that the
quality of swiftness is held to have been conveyed by the lightning
to the wood, by the wood to the water, and by the water to the woman,
so as to give her a swift delivery. By a similar train of reasoning
she is given to drink the water of a swiftly-flowing stream which thus
has the quality of swiftness, or water poured through a gun-barrel in
which the fouling of a bullet is left. Here the quality of swiftness
appertaining to the bullet is conveyed by the soiling to the barrel and
thence to the water and to the woman who drinks the water. In the above
cases all the transfers except that to the woman are by contact. The
belief in the transfer of qualities by contact may have arisen from
the sensations of the body and skin, to which heat, cold and moisture
are communicated by contact. It was applied to every kind of quality. A
familiar instance is the worship of the marks on rocks or stone which
are held to be the footprints left by a god. Here a part of the god's
divine virtue and power has been communicated through the sole of his
foot to the rock dented by the latter. Touching for the king's evil
was another familiar case, when it was thought that a fraction of
the king's divine life and virtue was communicated by contact to the
person touched and cured him of his ailment. The wearing of amulets
where these consist of parts of the bodies of animals is based on the
same belief. When a man wears on his person the claws of a tiger in an
amulet, he thinks that the claws being the tiger's principal weapon
of offence contain a concentrated part of his strength, and that the
wearer of the claws will acquire some of this by contact. The Gonds
carry the shoulder-bone of a tiger, or eat the powdered bone-dust,
in order to acquire strength. The same train of reasoning applies
to the wearing of the hair of a bear, a common amulet in India, the
hair being often considered as the special seat of strength. [124]
The whole practice of wearing ornaments of the precious metals and
precious stones appears to have been originally due to the same motive,
as shown in the article on Sunar.

If the Gonds want a child to become fat, they put it in a pigsty or
a place where asses have rolled, so that it may acquire by contact
the quality of fatness belonging to the pigs or asses. If they wish to
breed quarrels in an enemy's house, they put the seeds of the _amaltas_
or the quills of the porcupine in the thatch of the roof. The seeds
in the dried pods of this tree rattle in the wind, while the fretful
porcupine raises its quills when angry. Hence the seeds will impart
the quality of noise to the house, so that its inmates will be noisy,
while the quills of the porcupine will similarly breed strife between
them. The effects produced by weapons and instruments are thought of
in the same manner. We say that an arrow is shot from a bow with such
force as to penetrate the body and cause a wound. The savage could not
think or speak in this way, because he had no verbs and could not think
of nouns in the objective case. He thought of the arrow as an animate
thing having a cutting or piercing quality. When placed in a suitable
position to exercise its powers, it flew, of its own volition, through
the air to the target, and communicated to it by contact some of the
above quality. The idea is more easily realised in the case of balls,
pieces of bone or other missiles thrown by magicians. Here the person
whom it is intended to injure may be miles away, so that the object
could not possibly strike him merely through the force imparted to it
by the thrower. But when the magician has said charms over the missile,
communicating to it the power and desire to do his will, he throws it
in the proper direction and savages believe that it will go of its
own accord to the person against whom it is aimed and penetrate his
body. To pretend to suck pieces of bone out of the body, which are
supposed to have been propelled into the victim by an enemy, is one
of the commonest magical methods of curing an illness. The following
instances of this idea are taken from the admirable collection in
_The Golden Bough_ [125]: "(In Suffolk) if a man cuts himself with a
bill-hook or a scythe he always takes care to keep the weapon bright,
and oils it to prevent the wound from festering. If he runs a thorn or,
as he calls it, a bush into his hand, he oils or greases the extracted
thorn. A man came to a doctor with an inflamed hand, having run a
thorn into it while he was hedging. On being told that the hand was
festering, he remarked: 'That didn't ought to, for I greased the bush
well after I pulled it out' If a horse wounds its foot by treading on
a nail, a Suffolk groom will invariably preserve the nail, clean it
and grease it every day to prevent the wound from festering." Here the
heat and festering of the wounds are held to be qualities of the axe,
thorn or nail, which have been communicated to the person or animal
wounded by contact. If these qualities of the instrument are reduced
by cleaning and oiling it, then that portion of them communicated
to the wound, which was originally held to be a severed part of
the life and qualities of the instrument, will similarly be made
cool and easy. It is not probable that the people of Suffolk really
believe this at present, but they retain the method of treatment
arising from the belief without being able to explain it. Similarly
the Hindus must have thought that the results produced by the tools
of artisans working on materials, and by the plough on the earth,
were communicated by these instruments volitionally through contact;
and this is why they worship once or twice a year the implements of
their profession as the givers of the means of subsistence. All the
stories of magic swords, axes, impenetrable shields, sandals, lamps,
carpets and so on originally arose from the same belief.

60. The faculty of counting. Confusion of the individual and the

But primitive man not only considered the body as a homogeneous mass
with the life and qualities distributed equally over it. He further,
it may be suggested, did not distinguish between the individual
and the species. The reason for this was that he could not count,
and had no idea of numbers. The faculty of counting appears to have
been acquired very late. Messrs. Spencer and Gillan remark of the
aborigines of Central Australia: [126] "While in matters such as
tracking, which are concerned with their everyday life, and upon
efficiency in which they actually depend for their livelihood,
the natives show conspicuous ability, there are other directions in
which they are as conspicuously deficient. This is perhaps shown most
clearly in the matter of counting. At Alice Springs they occasionally
count, sometimes using their fingers in doing so, up to five, but
frequently anything beyond four is indicated by the word _oknira_,
meaning 'much' or 'great.' One is _nintha_, two _thrama_ or _thera_,
three _mapitcha_, four _therankathera_, five _therankathera-nintha_."
The form of these words is interesting, because it is clear that
the word for four is two and two, or twice two, and the word for
five is two and two and one. These words indicate the prolonged and
painful efforts which must have been necessary to count as far as
five, and this though in other respects the Australian natives show
substantial mental development, having a most complicated system of
exogamy, and sometimes two personal names for each individual. Again,
the Andamanese islanders, despite the extraordinary complexity of
their agglutinative language, have no names for the numerals beyond
two. [127] It is said that the Majhwar tribe can only count up to
three, while among the Bhatras the qualification for being a village
astrologer, who foretells the character of the rainfall and gives
auspicious days for sowing and harvest, is the ability to count
a certain number of posts. The astrologer's title is Meda Gantia,
or Counter of Posts. The above facts demonstrate that counting is a
faculty acquired with difficulty after considerable mental progress,
and primitive man apparently did not feel the necessity for it. [128]
But if he could not count, it seems a proper deduction that his
eye would not distinguish a number of animals of the same species
together, because the ability to do this, and to appraise distinct
individuals of like appearance appears to depend ultimately on the
faculty of counting. Major Hendley, a doctor and therefore a skilled
observer, states that the Bhils were unable to distinguish colours
or to count numbers, apparently on account of their want of words
to express themselves. [129] Now it seems clearly more easy for the
eye to discriminate between opposing colours than to distinguish
a number of individuals of the same species together. There are a
few things which we still cannot count, such as the blades of grass,
the ears of corn, drops of rain, snowflakes, and hailstones. All of
these things are still spoken of in the singular, though this is well
known to be scientifically incorrect. We say an expanse of grass,
a field of corn, and so on, as if the grass and corn were all one
plant instead of an innumerable quantity of plants. Apparently when
primitive man saw a number of animals or trees of the same species
together, the effect on him must have been exactly the same as that
of a field of grass or corn on us. He could be conscious only of an
indefinite sense of magnitude. But he did not know, as we do in the
cases cited, that the objects he saw were really a collection of
distinct individuals. He would naturally consider them as all one,
just as children would think a field of grass or corn to be one great
plant until they were told otherwise. But there was no one to tell
him, nor any means by which he could find out his mistake. He had no
plural number, and no definite or indefinite articles. Whether he
saw one or a hundred tigers together, he could only describe them
by the one word tiger. It was a long time before he could even say
'much tiger,' as the Australian natives still have to do if they see
more animals than five together, and the Andamanese if they see more
than two. The hypothesis therefore seems reasonable that at first man
considered each species of animals or plants which he distinguished
to have a separate single life, of which all the individuals were
pieces or members. The separation of different parts of one living
body presented no difficulties to his mind, since, as already seen, he
believed the life to continue in severed fractions of the human body.

A connection between individuals, apparently based on the idea that
they have a common life, has been noticed in other cases. Thus at the
commencement of the patriarchal state of society, when the child is
believed to derive its life from its father, any carelessness in the
father's conduct may injuriously affect the child. Sir E.B. Tylor notes
this among the tribes of South America. After the birth of a child
among the Indians of South America the father would eat no regular
cooked food, not suitable for children, as he feared that if he did
this his child would die. [130] "Among the Arawaks of Surinam for some
time after the birth of a child the father must fell no tree, fire
no gun, hunt no large game; he may stay near home, shoot little birds
with a bow and arrow, and angle for little fish; but his time hanging
heavy on his hands the only comfortable thing he can do is to lounge
in his hammock." [131] On another occasion a savage who had lately
become a father, refused snuff, of which he was very fond, because
his sneezing would endanger the life of his newly-born child. They
believed that any intemperance or carelessness of the father, such as
drinking, eating large quantities of meat, swimming in cold weather,
riding till he was tired and sweated, would endanger the child's life,
and if the child died, the father was bitterly reproached with having
caused its death by some such indiscretion. [132] Here the idea clearly
seems to be that the father's and child's life are one, the latter
being derived from and part of the former. The custom of the Couvade
may therefore perhaps be assigned to the early patriarchal stage. The
first belief was that the child derived its life from its mother,
and apparently that the weakness and debility of the mother after
childbirth were due to the fact that she had given up a part of her
life to the child. When the system of female descent changed to male
descent, the woman was taken from another clan into her husband's;
the child, being born in its father's clan, obviously could not draw
its life from its mother, who was originally of a different clan. The
inference was that it drew its life from its father; consequently
the father, having parted with a part of his life to his child, had
to imitate the conduct of the mother after childbirth, abstain from
any violent exertion, and sometimes feign weakness and lie up in the
house, so as not to place any undue strain on the severed fraction
of his life in his child, which would be simultaneously affected with
his own, but was much more fragile.

61. Similarity and identity.

Again, primitive man had no conception of likeness or similarity,
nor did he realise an imitation as distinct from the thing
imitated. Likeness or similarity and imitation are abstract ideas,
for which he had no words, and consequently did not conceive of
them. And clearly if one had absolutely no term signifying likeness
or similarity, and if one wished to indicate say, that something
resembled a goat, all one could do would be to point at the goat and
the object resembling it and say 'goat,' 'goat.' Since the name was
held to be part of the thing named, such a method would strengthen the
idea that resemblance was equivalent to identity. This point of view
can also be observed in children, who have no difficulty in thinking
that any imitation or toy model is just as good as the object or animal
imitated, and playing with it as such. Even to call a thing by the name
of any object is sufficient with children to establish its identity
with that object for the purposes of a game or mimicry, and a large
part of children's games are based on such pretensions. They also have
not yet clearly grasped the difference between likeness and identity,
and between an imitation of an object and the object itself. A large
part of the category of substituted ceremonies and sacrifices are
based on this confusion between similarity and identity. Thus when the
Hindus put four pieces of stick into a pumpkin and call it a goat,
they do not mean to cheat the god to whom it is offered, but fancy
that when they have made a likeness of a goat and called it a goat,
it is a goat, at any rate for the purpose of sacrifice. And when the
Jains, desiring to eat after sunset against the rule of their religion,
place a lamp under a sieve and call it the sun, and eat by it, they are
acting on the same principle and think they have avoided committing
a sin. A Baiga should go to his wedding on an elephant, but as he
cannot obtain a real elephant, two wooden cots are lashed together
and covered with blankets, with a black cloth trunk in front, and
this arrangement passes muster for an elephant. A small gold image
of a cat is offered to a Brahman in expiation for killing a cat,
silver eyes are offered to the goddess to save the eyes of a person
suffering from smallpox, a wisp of straw is burnt on a man's grave as
a substitute for cremating the body, a girl is married to an image
of a man made of _kusha_ grass, and so on. In rites where blood is
required vermilion is used as a substitute for blood; on the other
hand castes which abstain from flesh sometimes also decline to eat
red vegetables and fruits, because the red colour is held to make
them resemble and be equivalent to blood. These beliefs survive in
religious ceremonial long after the hard logic of facts has dispelled
them from ordinary life. [133] Thus when an image of a god was made
it was at once the god and contained part of his life. Primitive man
had no idea of an imitation or an image nor of a lifeless object, and
therefore could not conceive of the representation being anything else
than the god. Only in later times was some ceremony of conveying life
to the image considered requisite. The prohibition of sculpture among
the Jews and of painting among the Muhammadans was based on this view,
[134] because sculptures and paintings were not considered as images or
representations, but as living beings or gods, and consequently false
gods. The world-wide custom of making an image of a man with intent
to injure him arises from the same belief. Since primitive man could
conceive neither of an imitation nor of an inanimate object, the image
of a man was to his view the man; there was nothing else which it could
be. And thus it contained part of the man's life, just as every idol of
a god was the god himself and contained part of the god's life. Since
the man's life was common to himself and the image, by injuring or
destroying the image it was held that the man's life would similarly
be injured or destroyed, on the analogy already explained of injury
to life being frequently observed to follow a hurt or wound of any
part of the body. Afterwards the connection between the man and the
image was strengthened by working into the material of the latter some
fraction of his body, such as severed hair or the earth pressed by his
foot. But this was not necessary to the original belief. The objection
often raised by savages to having their photographs taken or pictures
painted may be explained in the same manner. Here the photograph or
picture cannot be realised as a simple imitation; it is held to be
the man himself, and must therefore contain part of his life. Hence
any one in whose possession it is can do him harm by injuring or
destroying the photograph or picture, according to the method of
reasoning already explained. The superstitions against looking in a
mirror, especially after dark, or seeing one's reflection in water,
are analogous cases. Here the reflection in the mirror or water is held
to be the person himself, because savages do not understand the nature
of the reflected image. It is the person himself, but has no corporeal
substance; therefore the reflection must be his ghost or spirit. But
if the spirit appears once it is an omen that it will appear again;
and in order that it may do so the man will have to die so that the
spirit may be set free from the body in order to appear. The special
reason for not looking into a mirror at night would thus be because
the night is the usual time for the appearance of spirits. The fable
of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in the
water and was drowned, probably arose from the superstition against
seeing one's image reflected in water. And similarly the belief was
that a man's clothes and other possessions contained part of his life
by contact; this is the explanation of the custom of representing a
person by some implement or article of clothing, such as performing
the marriage ceremony with the bridegroom's sword instead of himself,
and sending the bride's shoes home with the bridegroom to represent
her. A barren woman will try to obtain a piece of a pregnant woman's
breast-cloth and will burn it and eat the ashes, thinking thereby to
transfer the pregnant woman's quality of fertility to herself. When
a Hindu widow is remarried her clothes and ornaments are sometimes
buried on the boundary of her second husband's village and she puts
on new clothes, because it is thought that her first husband's spirit
will remain in the old clothes and give trouble.

62. The recurrence of events.

A brief digression may be made here in order to suggest an explanation
of another important class of primitive ideas. These arise from the
belief that when something has happened, that same event, or some
other resembling it, will again occur, or, more briefly, the belief
in the recurrence of events. This view is the origin of a large class
of omens, and appears to have been originally evolved simply from the
recurring phenomena of day and night and of the months and climatic
seasons. For suppose that one was in the position of primitive man,
knowing absolutely nothing of the nature and constitution of the earth
and the heavenly bodies, or of the most elementary facts of astronomy;
then, if the question were asked why one expected the sun to rise
to-morrow, the only possible answer, and the answer which one would
give, would be because it had risen to-day and every day as long as one
could remember. The reason so stated might have no scientific value,
but would at any rate establish a strong general probability. But
primitive man could not have given it in this form, because he had no
memory and could not count. Even now comparatively advanced tribes like
the Gonds have a hopelessly inaccurate memory for ordinary incidents;
and, as suggested subsequently, the faculty of memory was probably
acquired very slowly with the development of language. And since he
could not count, the continuous recurrence of natural phenomena had
no cumulative force with him, so that he might distinguish them from
other events. His argument was thus simply "the sun will rise again
because it rose before; the moon will wax and wane again because she
waxed and waned before"; grass and leaves and fruit would grow again
because they did so before; the animals which gave him food would come
again as before; and so on. But these were the only events which his
brain retained at all, and that only because his existence depended
upon them and they continually recurred. The ordinary incidents of life
which presented some variation passed without record in his mind, as
they still do very largely in those of primitive savages. And since he
made no distinction between the different classes of events, holding
them all to be the acts of volitional beings, he applied this law of
the recurrence of events to every incident of life, and thought that
whenever anything happened, reason existed for supposing that the same
thing or something like it would happen again. It was sufficient that
the second event should be like the first, since, as already seen,
he did not distinguish between similarity and identity. Thus, to give
instances, the Hindus think that if a man lies full length inside a
bed, he is lying as if on a bier and will consequently soon be dead
on a real bier; hence beds should be made so that one's feet project
uncomfortably over the end. By a similar reasoning he must not lie with
his feet to the south because corpses are laid in this direction. A
Hindu married woman always wears glass bangles as a sign of her state,
and a widow may not wear them. A married woman must therefore never
let her arms be without bangles or it is an omen that she will become
a widow. She must not wear wholly white clothes, because a widow wears
these. If a man places one of his shoes over the other in the house,
it is an omen that he will go on a journey when the shoes will be in
a similar position as he walks along. A Kolta woman who desires to
ascertain whether she will have a son, puts a fish into a pot full of
water and spreads her cloth by it. If the fish jumps into her lap,
it is thought that her lap will shortly hold another living being,
that is a son. At a wedding, in many Hindu castes, the bride and
bridegroom perform the business of their caste or an imitation of
it. Among the Kuramwar shepherds the bride and bridegroom are seated
with the shuttle which is used for weaving blankets between them. A
miniature swing is put up and a doll is placed in it in imitation
of a child and swung to and fro. The bride then takes the doll out
and gives it to the bridegroom, saying:--"Here, take care of it,
I am now going to cook food"; while, after a time, the boy returns
the doll to the girl saying, "I must now weave the blanket and go
to tend the flock." Thus, having performed their life's business at
their wedding, it is thought that they will continue to do so happily
as long as they live. Many castes, before sowing the real crop, make
a pretence of sowing seed before the shrine of the god, and hope thus
to ensure that the subsequent sowing will be auspicious. The common
stories of the appearance of a ghost, or other variety of apparition,
before the deaths of members of a particular family, are based partly
on the belief in the recurrence of associated events. The well-known
superstition about sitting down thirteen to dinner, on the ground that
one of the party may die shortly afterwards, is an instance of the
same belief, being of course based on the Last Supper. But the number
thirteen is generally unlucky, being held to be so by the Hindus,
Muhammadans and Persians, as well as Europeans, and the superstition
perhaps arose from its being the number of the intercalary month in
the soli-lunar calendar, which is present one year and absent the
next year. Thirteen is one more than twelve, the auspicious number
of the months of the year. Similarly seven was perhaps lucky or
sacred as being the number of the planets which gave their names
to the days of the week, and three because it represented the sun,
moon and earth. When a gambler stakes his money on a number such as
the date of his birth or marriage, he acts on the supposition that a
number which has been propitious to him once will be so again, and this
appears to be a survival of the belief in the recurrence of events.

63. Controlling the future.

But primitive man was not actuated by any abstract love of knowledge,
and when he had observed what appeared to him to be a law of nature, he
proceeded to turn it to advantage in his efforts for the preservation
of his life. Since events had the characteristic of recurrence, all he
had to do in order to produce the recurrence of any particular event
which he desired, was to cause it to happen in the first instance; and
since he did not distinguish between imitation and reality, he thought
that if he simply enacted the event he would thus ensure its being
brought to pass. And so he assiduously set himself to influence the
course of nature to his own advantage. When the Australian aborigines
are performing ceremonies for the increase of witchetty grubs, a long
narrow structure of boughs is made which represents the chrysalis of
the grub. The men of the witchetty grub totem enter the structure
and sing songs about the production and growth of the witchetty
grub. Then one after another they shuffle out of the chrysalis,
and glide slowly along for a distance of some yards, imitating the
emergence and movements of the witchetty grubs. By thus enacting the
production of the grubs they think to cause and multiply the real
production. [135] When the men of the emu totem wish to multiply the
number of emus, they allow blood from their arms, that is emu blood,
to fall on the ground until a certain space is covered. Then on this
space a picture is drawn representing the emu; two large patches of
yellow indicate lumps of its fat, of which the natives are very fond,
but the greater part shows, by means of circles and circular patches,
the eggs in various stages of development, some before and some after
laying. Then the men of the totem, placing on their heads a stick with
a tuft of feathers to represent the long neck and small head of the
bird, stand gazing about aimlessly after the manner of the emu. Here
the picture itself is held to be a living emu, perhaps the source or
centre from which all emus will originate, and the men, pretending
to be emus, will cause numbers of actual emus to be produced. [136]
Before sowing the crops, a common practice is to sow small quantities
of grain in baskets or pots in rich soil, so that it will sprout and
grow up quickly, the idea being to ensure that the real crop will have
a similarly successful growth. These baskets are the well-known Gardens
of Adonis fully described in _The Golden Bough_. They are grown for
nine days, and on the tenth day are taken in procession by the women
and deposited in a river. The women may be seen carrying the baskets
of wheat to the river after the nine days' fasts of Chait and Kunwar
(March and September) in many towns of the Central Provinces, as the
Athenian women carried the Gardens of Adonis to the sea on the day
that the expedition under Nicias set sail for Syracuse. [137] The
fire kindled at the Holi festival in spring is meant, as explained
by Sir J.G. Frazer, to increase the power of the sun for the growth
of vegetation. By the production of fire the quantity and strength
of the heavenly fire is increased. He remarks: [138]--"The custom of
throwing blazing discs, shaped like suns, into the air, is probably
also a piece of imitative magic. In these, as in so many cases, the
magic force is supposed to take effect through mimicry or sympathy; by
imitating the desired result you actually produce it; by counterfeiting
the sun's progress through the heavens you really help the luminary to
pursue his celestial journey with punctuality and despatch. The name
'fire of heaven,' by which the midsummer fire is sometimes popularly
known, clearly indicates a consciousness of the connection between the
earthly and the heavenly flame." The obscene songs of the Holi appear
to be the relic of a former period of promiscuous sexual debauchery,
which, through the multiplied act of reproduction, was intended to
ensure that nature should also reproduce on a generous scale. The red
powder thrown over everybody at the Holi is said to represent the seed
of life. The gifts of Easter eggs seem to be the vestige of a rite
having the same object. At a wedding in the Lodhi caste the bride
is seated before the family god while an old woman brings a stone
rolling-pin wrapped up in a piece of cloth, which is supposed to be a
baby, and the old woman imitates a baby crying. She puts the roller
in the bride's lap, saying, "Take this and give it milk." The bride
is abashed and throws it aside. The old woman picks it up and shows
it to the assembled women, saying, "The bride has just had a baby,"
amid loud laughter. Then she gives the stone to the bridegroom, who
also throws it aside. This ceremony is meant to induce fertility,
and it is supposed that by making believe that the bride has had
a baby she will quickly have one. Similar rites are performed in
several other castes, and when a girl becomes adult her lap is filled
with fruits with the idea that this will cause it subsequently to be
filled with the fruit of her womb. The whole custom of giving dolls
to girls to play with, perhaps originated in the belief that by doing
so they would afterwards come to play with children.

The dances of the Kol tribe consist partly of symbolical enactments
of events which they desired to be successfully accomplished. Some
variations of the dance, Colonel Dalton states, represent the
different seasons and the necessary acts of cultivation that each
brings with it. In one the dancers, bending down, make a motion with
their hands, as though they were sowing the grain, keeping step with
their feet all the time. Then comes the reaping of the crop and
the binding of the sheaves, all done in perfect time and rhythm,
and making, with the continuous droning of the voices, a quaint
and picturesque performance. [139] The Karma dance of the Gonds
and Oraons is also connected with the crops, and probably was once
an enactment of the work of cultivation. [140] The Bhils danced at
their festivals and before battles. The men danced in a ring, holding
sticks and striking them against one another. Before a battle they
had a war-dance in which the performers were armed and imitated a
combat. To be carried on the shoulders of one of the combatants was
a great honour, perhaps because it symbolised being on horseback. The
object was to obtain success in battle by going through an imitation
of a successful battle beforehand. This was also the common custom
of the Red Indians, whose war-dances are well known; they brandished
their weapons and killed their foe in mimicry in order that they
might soon do so in reality. The Sela dance of the Gonds and Baigas,
in which they perform the figure of the grand chain of the lancers,
only that they strike their sticks together instead of clasping hands
as they pass, was probably once an imitation of a combat. It is still
sometimes danced before their communal hunting and fishing parties. In
these mimetic rehearsals of events with the object of causing them
to occur we may perhaps discern the origin of the arts both of acting
and dancing. Another, and perhaps later form, was the reproduction of
important events, or those which had influenced history. For to the
primitive mind, as already seen, the results were not conceived of as
instrumentally caused by the event, but as part of the event itself
and of its life and personality. Hence by the re-enactment of the event
the beneficial results would be again obtained or at least preserved in
undiminished potency and vigour. This was perhaps the root idea of the
drama and the representation of sacred or heroic episodes on the stage.

64. The common life.

Thus, resuming from paragraph 61, primitive man had no difficulty
in conceiving of a life as shared between two or more persons or
objects, and it does not seem impossible that he should have at
first conceived it to extend through a whole species. [141] A good
instance of the common life is afforded by the gods of the Hindu
and other pantheons. Each god was conceived of as performing some
divine function, guiding the chariot of the sun, manipulating the
thunder and so on; but at the same time thousands of temples existed
throughout the country, and in each of these the god was alive and
present in his image or idol, able to act independently, receive
and consume sacrifices and offerings, protect suppliants and punish
transgressors. No doubt at all can be entertained that each idol was
in itself held to be a living god. In India food is offered to the
idol, it goes through its ablutions, is fanned, and so on, exactly
like a human king. The ideas of sanctuary and sacrilege appear to
depend primarily on the belief in the actual presence of the god
in his shrine. And in India no sanctity at all attaches to a temple
from which the idol has been removed. Thus we see the life of the god
distributed over a multitude of personalities. Again, the same god,
as Vishnu or the sun, is held to have had a number of incarnations,
as the boar, the tortoise, a man-lion, a dwarf, Rama and Krishna,
and these are venerated simultaneously as distinct deities. The
whole Brahman caste considered itself divine or as partaking in the
life of the god, the original reason for this perhaps being that
the Brahmans obtained the exclusive right to perform sacrifices,
and hence the life of the sacrificial animal or food passed to
them, as in other societies it passed to the king who performed the
sacrifice. A Brahman further holds that the five gods, Indra, Brahma,
Siva, Vishnu and Ganesh, are present in different parts of his body,
[142] and here again the life of the god is seen to be divided into
innumerable fragments. The priests of the Vallabhacharya sect, the
Gokulastha Gosains, were all held to be possessed by the god Krishna,
so that it was esteemed a high privilege to perform the most menial
offices for them, because to touch them was equivalent to touching
the god, and perhaps assimilating by contact a fragment of his divine
life and nature. [143] The belief in a common life would also explain
the veneration of domestic animals and the prohibition against killing
them, because to kill one would injure the whole life of the species,
from which the tribe drew its subsistence. Similarly in a number of
cases the first idea of seasonal fasts is that the people abstain
from the grain or fruit which is growing or sown in the ground. Thus
in India during the rains the vegetables growing at this period are
not eaten, and are again partaken of for the first time after the
sacrificial offering of the new crop. This rule could not possibly be
observed in the case of grain, but instead certain single fast-days are
prescribed, and on these days no cultivated grain or fruit, but only
those growing wild, should be eaten. These rules seem to indicate that
the original motive of the fast was to avoid injuring the common life
of the grain or fruit, which injury would be caused by a consumption
of any part of it, at a time when the whole of the common life and
vigour was required for its reproduction and multiplication. This
idea may have operated to enable the savage to restrain himself from
digging up and eating the grain sown in the ground, or slaughtering his
domestic animals for food, and a taboo on the consumption of grain and
fruits during their period of ripening may have first begun in their
wild state. The Intichiuma ceremonies of the Australian natives are
carried out with the object of increasing the supply of the totem for
food purposes. In the Ilpirla or Manna totem the members of the clan go
to a large boulder surrounded by stones, which are held to represent
masses of Ilpirla or the manna of the _mulga_ tree. A Churinga stone
is dug up, which is supposed to represent another mass of manna, and
this is rubbed over the boulder, and the smaller stones are also rubbed
over it. While the leader does this, the others sing a song which is an
invitation to the dust produced by the rubbing of the stones to go out
and produce a plentiful supply of Ilpirla on the _mulga_ trees. [144]
Then the dust is swept off the surface of the stones with twigs of
the _mulga_ tree. Here apparently the large boulder and other stones
are held to be the centre or focus of the common life of the manna,
and from them the seed issues forth which will produce a crop of manna
on all the _mulga_ trees. The deduction seems clear that the trees are
not conceived of individually, but are held to have a common life. In
the case of the _hakea_ flower totem they go to a stone lying beneath
an old tree, and one of the members lets his blood flow on to the stone
until it is covered, while the others sing a song inciting the _hakea_
tree to flower much and to the blossoms to be full of honey. [145]
The blood is said to represent a drink prepared from the _hakea_
flowers, but probably it was originally meant to quicken the stone
with the blood of a member of the totem, that is its own blood or
life, in order that it might produce abundance of flowers. Here again
the stone seems to be the centre of the common life of the _hakea_
flower. The songs are sung with the idea that the repetition of words
connoting a state of facts will have the effect of causing that state
of facts to exist, in accordance with the belief already explained
in the concrete virtue of words.

Sir E. B. Tylor states: "In Polynesia, if a village god were accustomed
to appear as an owl, and one of his votaries found a dead owl by
the roadside, he would mourn over the sacred bird and bury it with
much ceremony, but the god himself would not be thought to be dead,
for he remains incarnate in all existing owls. According to Father
Geronimo Boscana, the Acagchemen tribe of Upper California furnish a
curious parallel to this notion. They worshipped the _panes_ bird,
which seems to have been an eagle or vulture, and each year, in
the temple of each village, one of them was solemnly killed without
shedding blood, and the body buried. Yet the natives maintained and
believed that it was the same individual bird they sacrificed each
year, and more than this, that the same bird was slain by each of
the villages." [146] An account of the North American Indians quoted
by the same author states that they believe all the animals of each
species to have an elder brother, who is as it were the principle and
origin of all the individuals, and this elder brother is marvellously
great and powerful. According to another view each species has its
archetype in the land of souls; there exists, for example, a _manitu_
or archetype of all oxen, which animates all oxen. [147]

Generally in the relations between the totem-clan and its
totem-animal, and in all the fables about animals, one animal is
taken as representing the species, and it is tacitly assumed that
all the animals of the species have the same knowledge and qualities
and would behave in the same manner as the typical one. Thus when
the Majhwar says that the tiger would run away if he met a member
of the tiger-clan who was free from sin, but would devour any member
who had been put out of caste for an offence, he assumes that every
tiger would know a member of the clan on meeting him, and also whether
that member was in or out of caste. He therefore apparently supposes a
common knowledge and intelligence to exist in all tigers as regards the
clan, as if they were parts of one mind or intelligence. And since the
tigers know instinctively when a member of the clan is out of caste,
the mind and intelligence of the tigers must be the same as that
of the clan. The Kols of the tiger clan think that if they were to
sit up for a tiger over a kill the tiger would not come and would be
deprived of his food, and that they themselves would fall ill. Here
the evil effects of the want of food on one tiger are apparently held
to extend to all tigers and also to all members of the tiger clan.

65. The common life of the clan.

The totem-clan held itself to partake of the life of its totem, and
on the above hypothesis one common life would flow through all the
animals and plants of the totem and all the members of the clan. An
Australian calls his totem his Wingong (friend) or Tumang (flesh),
and nowadays expresses his sorrow when he has to eat it. [148] If a
man wishes to injure any man of a certain totem, he kills any animal
of that man's totem. [149] This clearly shows that one common life is
held to bind together all the animals of the totem-species and all the
members of the totem-clan, and the belief seems to be inexplicable on
any other hypothesis. The same is the case with the sex-totems of the
Kurnai tribe. In addition to the clan-totems all the boys have the
Superb Warbler bird as a sex-totem, and call it their elder brother;
and all the girls the Emu-wren, and call it their elder sister. If
the boys wish to annoy the girls, or vice versa, each kills or injures
the other's totem-bird, and such an act is always followed by a free
fight between the boys and girls. [150] Sex-totems are a peculiar
development which need not be discussed here, but again it would appear
that a common life runs through the birds of the totem and the members
of the sex. Professor Robertson Smith describes the clan or kin as
follows: "A kin was a group of persons whose lives were so bound up
together, in what must be called a physical unity, that they could
be treated as parts of one common life. The members of one kindred
looked on themselves as one living whole, one single animated mass of
blood, flesh and bones, of which no member could be touched without
all the members suffering. This point of view is expressed in the
Semitic tongue in many familiar forms of speech. In case of homicide
Arabian tribesmen do not say, 'The blood of M. or N. has been spilt'
(naming the man): they say, 'Our blood has been spilt.' In Hebrew
the phrase by which one claims kinship is, 'I am your bone and your
flesh.' Both in Hebrew and in Arabic flesh is synonymous with 'clan'
or kindred group." [151] The custom of the blood-feud appears to have
arisen from the belief in a common life of the clan. "The blood-feud
is an institution not peculiar to tribes reckoning descent through
females; and it is still in force. By virtue of its requirements
every member of a kin, one of whom had suffered at the hands of a
member of another kin, was bound to avenge the wrong upon the latter
kin. Such is the solidarity between members of a kin that vengeance
might be taken upon any member of the offending kin, though he might
be personally quite innocent. In the growth of civilisation vengeance
has gradually come to be concentrated upon the offender only." [152]
Thus the blood-feud appears to have originated from the idea of primary
retributive justice between clan and clan. When a member of a clan had
been killed, one of the offending clan must be killed in return. Who
he might be, and whether the original homicide was justifiable or not,
were questions not regarded by primitive man; motives were abstract
ideas with which he had no concern; he only knew that a piece of the
common life had been lopped off, and the instinct of self-preservation
of the clan demanded that a piece of the life of the offending clan
should be cut off in return. And the tie which united the kin was
eating and drinking together. "According to antique ideas those who
eat and drink together are by this very act tied to one another by
a bond of friendship and mutual obligation." [153] This was the bond
which first united the members of the totem-clan both among themselves
and with their totem. And the relationship with the totem could only
have arisen from the fact that they ate it. The belief in a common
life could not possibly arise in the totem-clan towards any animal or
plant which they did not eat or otherwise use. These they would simply
disregard. Nor would savages, destitute at first of any moral ideas,
and frequently on the brink of starvation, abstain from eating any
edible animal from sentimental considerations; and, as already seen,
the first totems were generally edible. They could not either have
in the first place eaten the totem ceremonially, as there would
be no reason for such a custom. But the ceremonial eating of the
domestic animal, which was the tie subsequently uniting the members
of the tribe, [154] cannot be satisfactorily explained except on
the hypothesis that it was evolved from the customary eating of the
totem-animal. Primitive savages would only feel affection towards the
animals which they ate, just as the affection of animals is gained
by feeding them. The objection might be made that savages could not
feel affection and kinship for an animal which they killed and ate,
but no doubt exists that they do.

"In British Columbia, when the fishing season commenced and the
fish began coming up the rivers, the Indians used to meet them
and speak to them. They paid court to them and would address them
thus: 'You fish, you fish; you are all chiefs, you are; you are all
chiefs.' Among the Northas when a bear is killed, it is dressed in a
bonnet, covered with fine down, and solemnly invited to the chiefs
presence." [155] And there are many other instances. [156] Savages
had no clear realisation of death, and they did not think that the
life of the animal was extinguished but that it passed to them with
the flesh. Moreover they only ate part of the life. In many cases
also the totem-animal only appeared at a certain season of the year,
in consequence of the habit of hibernation or migration in search
of food, while trees only bore fruit in their season. The savage,
regarding all animals and plants as possessed of self-conscious life
and volition, would think that they came of their own accord to give
him subsistence or life. Afterwards, when they had obtained the idea
of a soul or spirit, and of the survival of the soul after death,
and when, on the introduction of personal names, the personality
of individuals could be realised and remembered after death, they
frequently thought that the spirits of ancestors went back to the
totem-animal, whence they derived their life. The idea of descent
from the totem would thus naturally arise. As the means of subsistence
increased, and especially in those communities which had domesticated
animals or cultivated plants, the conception of the totem as the
chief source of life would gradually die away and be replaced by the
belief in descent from it; and when they also thought that the spirits
of ancestors were in the totem, they would naturally abstain from
eating it. Perhaps also the Australians consider that the members
of the totem-clan should abstain from eating the totem for fear of
injuring the common life, as more advanced communities abstained from
eating the flesh of domestic animals. This may be the ground for the
rule that they should only eat sparingly of the totem. To the later
period may be ascribed the adoption of carnivorous animals as totems;
when these animals came to be feared and also venerated for their
qualities of strength, ferocity and courage, warriors would naturally
wish to claim kinship with and descent from them.

66. Living and eating together.

When the members of the totem-clan who lived together recognised that
they owed something to each other, and that the gratification of the
instincts and passions of the individual must to a certain degree be
restrained if they endangered the lives and security of other members
of the clan, they had taken the first step on the long path of moral
and social progress. The tie by which they supposed themselves to be
united was quite different from those which have constituted a bond of
union between the communities who have subsequently lived together in
the tribe, the city-state and the country. These have been a common
religion, common language, race, or loyalty to a common sovereign;
but the real bond has throughout been the common good or the public
interest. And the desire for this end on the part of the majority
of the members of the community, or the majority of those who were
able to express their opinions, though its action was until recently
not overt nor direct, and was not recognised, has led to the gradual
evolution of the whole fabric of law and moral feeling, in order to
govern and control the behaviour and conduct of the individual in
his relations with his family, neighbours and fellow-citizens for
the public advantage. The members of the totem-clan would have been
quite unable to understand either the motives by which they were
themselves actuated or the abstract ideas which have united more
advanced communities; but they devised an even stronger bond than
these, in supposing that they were parts or fractions of one common
body or life. This was the more necessary as their natural impulses
were uncontrolled by moral feeling. They conceived the bond of union
in the concrete form of eating together. As language improved and
passing events were recorded in speech and in the mind, the faculty of
memory was perhaps concurrently developed. Then man began to realise
the insecurity of his life, the dangers and misfortunes to which he
was subject, the periodical failure or irregularity of the supply
of food, and the imminent risks of death. Memory of the past made
him apprehensive for the future, and holding that every event was the
result of an act of volition, he began to assume an attitude either of
veneration, gratitude, or fear towards the strongest of the beings by
whom he thought his destinies were controlled--the sun, moon, sky, wind
and rain, the ocean and great rivers, high mountains and trees, and
the most important animals of his environment, whether they destroyed
or assisted to preserve his life. The ideas of propitiation, atonement
and purification were then imparted to the sacrifice, and it became an
offering to a god. [157] But the primary idea of eating or drinking
together as a bond of union was preserved, and can be recognised in
religious and social custom to an advanced period of civilisation.

67. The origin of exogamy.

Again, Dr. Westermarck shows that the practice of exogamy or
the avoidance of intermarriage did not at first arise between
persons recognised as blood relations, but between those who lived
together. "Facts show that the extent to which relatives are not
allowed to intermarry is nearly connected with their close living
together. Generally speaking the prohibited degrees are extended
much further among savage and barbarous peoples than in civilised
societies. As a rule the former, if they have not remained in the
most primitive social condition of man, live not in separate families
but in large households or communities, all the members of which
dwell in very close contact with each other." [158] And later, after
adducing the evil results of self-fertilisation in plants and close
interbreeding in animals, Dr. Westermarck continues: "Taking all these
facts into consideration, I cannot but believe that consanguineous
marriages, in some way or other, are more or less detrimental to the
species. And here I think we may find a quite sufficient explanation
of the horror of incest; not because man at an early stage recognised
the injurious influence of close intermarriage, but because the law of
natural selection must inevitably have operated. Among the ancestors
of man, as among other animals, there was no doubt a time when blood
relationship was no bar to sexual intercourse. But variations here,
as elsewhere, would naturally present themselves; and those of our
ancestors who avoided in-and-in breeding would survive, while the
others would gradually decay and ultimately perish. Thus an instinct
would be developed, which would be powerful enough as a rule to
prevent injurious unions. Of course it would display itself simply as
an aversion on the part of individuals to union with others with whom
they lived; but these as a matter of fact would be blood relations,
so that the result would be the survival of the fittest."

68. Promiscuity and female descent.

The instinct of exogamy first developed in the totem-clan when it
was migratory and lived by hunting, at least among the Australians
and probably the American Indians.

The first condition of the clan was one of sexual promiscuity, and in
_Totemism and Exogamy_ Sir J.G. Frazer has adduced many instances of
periodical promiscuous debauchery which probably recall this state of
things. [159] The evil results which would accrue from in-breeding
in the condition of promiscuity may have been modified by such
incidents as the expulsion of the young males through the spasmodic
jealousy of the older ones, the voluntary segregation of the old
males, fights and quarrels leading to the rearrangement of groups,
and the frequent partial destruction of a group, when the survivors
might attach themselves to a new group. Primitive peoples attached the
utmost importance to the rule of exogamy, and the punishments for the
breach of it were generally more severe than those for the violation
of the laws of affinity in civilised countries. The Australians say
that the good spirit or the wise men prescribed to them the rule that
the members of each totem-clan should not marry with each other. [160]
Similarly the Gonds say that their divine hero, Lingo, introduced the
rule of exogamy and the division into clans before he went to the gods.

At first, however, the exogamous clan was not constituted by descent
through males, but through females. The hypothesis that female
everywhere preceded male descent is strongly supported by natural
probability. In the first instance, the parentage of children was no
more observed and remembered than that of animals. When first observed,
it was necessarily through the mother, the identity of the father
being wholly uncertain. The mother would also be the first parent
to remember her children, her affection for them being based on one
of the strongest natural instincts, whereas the father neither knew
nor cared for his children until long afterwards. Sir J.G. Frazer
has further shown that even now some of the Australian aborigines
are ignorant of the physical fact of paternity and its relation
to sexual intercourse. That such ignorance could have survived so
long is the strongest evidence in favour of the universal priority
of female to male descent. It is doubtful, however, whether even the
mother could remember her children after they had become adult, prior
to the introduction of personal names. Mr. M'Lennan states: "The tie
between mother and child, which exists as a matter of necessity during
infancy, is not infrequently found to be lost sight of among savages
on the age of independence being reached." [161] Personal names were
probably long subsequent to clan-names, and when they were first
introduced the name usually had some reference to the clan. The Red
Indians and other races have totem-names which are frequently some
variant of the name of the totem. [162] When personal names came to
be generally introduced, the genesis of the individual family might
soon follow, but the family could scarcely have come into existence
in the absence of personal names. As a rule, in the exogamous clan
with female descent no regard was paid to the chastity of women, and
they could select their partners as they pleased. Mr. Hartland has
shown in _Primitive Paternity_ that in a large number of primitive
communities the chastity of women was neither enforced nor desired by
the men, this state of things being probably a relic of the period
of female descent. Thus exogamy first arose through the women of
the clan resorting to men outside it. When we consider the extreme
rigour of life and the frequent danger of starvation to which the
small clans in the hunting stage must have been exposed, it does
not seem impossible that the evil effects of marriage within the
clan may have been noticed. At that time probably only a minority
even of healthy children survived, and the slight congenital weakness
produced by in-breeding might apparently be fatal to a child's chance
of life. Possibly some dim perception may have been obtained of the
different fates of the children of women who restricted their sexual
relations to men within the clan and those who resorted to strangers,
even though the nature of paternity may not have been understood. The
strength of the feeling and custom of exogamy seems to demand some
such recognition for its satisfactory explanation, though, on the
other hand, the lateness of the recognition of the father's share in
the production of children militates against this view. The suggestion
may be made also that the belief that the new life of a child must be
produced by a spirit entering the woman, or other extraneous source,
does not necessarily involve an ignorance of the physical fact of
paternity; the view that the spirits of ancestors are reborn in
children is still firmly held by tribes who have long been wholly
familiar with the results of the commerce of the sexes. The practice
of exogamy was no doubt, as shown by Dr. Westermarck, favoured and
supported by the influence of novelty in sexual attraction, since
according to common observation and experience sexual love or desire
is more easily excited between strangers or slight acquaintances than
between those who have long lived together in the same household or
in familiar intercourse. In the latter case the attraction is dulled
by custom and familiarity.

69. Exogamy with female descent.

The exogamous clan, with female descent, was, however, an unstable
social institution, in that it had no regular provision for marriage
nor for the incorporation of married couples. The men who associated
with the women of the clan were not necessarily, nor as a rule,
admitted to it, but remained in their own clans. How this association
took place is not altogether clear. At a comparatively late period in
Arabia, according to Professor Robertson Smith, [163] the woman would
have a tent, and could entertain outside men for a shorter or longer
period according to her inclination. The practice of serving for a wife
also perhaps dates from the period of female descent. The arrangement
would have been that a man went and lived with a woman's family
and gave his services in return for her conjugal society. Whether
the residence with the wife's family was permanent or not is perhaps
uncertain. When Jacob served for Leah and Rachel, society seems to have
been in the early patriarchal stage, as Laban was their father and
he was Laban's sister's son. But it seems doubtful whether his right
was then recognised to take his wives away with him, for even after
he had served fourteen years Laban pursued him, and would have taken
them back if he had not been warned against doing so in a vision. The
episode of Rachel's theft of the images also seems to indicate that
she intended to take her own household gods with her and not to adopt
those of her husband's house. And Laban's chief anxiety was for the
recovery of the images. A relic of the husband's residence with his
wife's family during the period of female descent may perhaps be found
in the Banjara caste, who oblige a man to go and live with his wife's
father for a month without seeing her face. Under the patriarchal
system this rule of the Banjaras is meaningless, though the general
practice of serving for a wife survives as a method of purchase.

Among the Australian aborigines apparently the clans, or sections
of them, wander about in search of food and game, and meet each
other for more or less promiscuous intercourse. This may perhaps
be supposed to have been the general primitive condition of society
after the introduction of exogamy combined with female descent. And
its memory is possibly preserved in the tradition of the Golden Age,
golden only in the sense that man was not troubled either by memory
or anticipation, and lived only for the day. The entire insecurity
of life and its frequent end by starvation or a violent death did not
therefore trouble him any more than is the case with animals. He took
no thought for the morrow, nor did the ills of yesterday oppress
his mind. As when one of a herd of deer is shot by a hunter and
the others stand by it pityingly as it lies dying on the ground,
uncertain of its mishap, though they would help it if they could;
yet when they perceive the hunter they make quickly off and in a few
minutes are again grazing happily a mile or two away: little or no
more than this can primitive man be supposed to have been affected by
the deaths of his fellows. But possibly, since he was carnivorous,
the sick and old may have been killed for food, as is still the
practice among some tribes of savages. In the natural course,
however, more or less permanent unions, though perhaps not regular
marriages, must have developed in the female exogamous clan, which
would thus usually have men of other clans living with it. And since
identification of individuals would be extremely difficult before
the introduction of personal names, there would be danger that when
two clans met, men and women belonging to the same totem-clan would
have sexual intercourse. This offence, owing to the strength of the
feeling for exogamy, was frequently held to entail terrible evils
for the community, and was consequently sometimes punished with
death as treason. Moreover, if we suppose a number of small clans,
A, B, C, D and E, to meet each other again and again, and the men and
women to unite promiscuously, it is clear that the result would be a
mixture of relationships of a very incestuous character. The incest
of brothers and sisters by the same father would be possible and of
almost all other relations, though that of brothers and sisters by the
same mother would not be caused. This may have been the reason for
the introduction of the class system among the Australians and Red
Indians, by which all the clans of a certain area were divided into
two classes, and the men of any clan of one class could only marry or
have intercourse with the women of a clan of the other class. By such a
division the evil results of the mixture of totems in exogamous clans
with female descent would be avoided. The class system was sometimes
further strengthened by the rule, in Australia, that different classes
should, when they met, encamp on opposite sides of a creek or other
natural division [164]; whilst among the Red Indians, the classes camp
on opposite sides of the road, or live on different sides of the same
house or street. [165] In Australia, and very occasionally elsewhere,
the class system has been developed into four and eight sub-classes. A
man of one sub-class can only marry a woman of one other, and their
children belong to one of those different from either the father's or
mother's. This highly elaborate and artificial system was no doubt,
as stated by Sir J. G. Frazer, devised for the purpose of preventing
the intermarriage of parents and children belonging to different clans
where there are four sub-classes, and of first cousins where there are
eight sub-classes. [166] The class system, however, would not appear to
have been the earliest form of exogamy among the Australian tribes. Its
very complicated character, and the fact that the two principal classes
sometimes do not even have names, seem to preclude the idea of its
having been the first form of exogamy, which is a strong natural
feeling, so much so that it may almost be described as an instinct,
though of course not a primitive animal instinct. And just as the
totem clan, which establishes a sentiment of kinship between people
who are not related by blood, was prior to the individual family, so
exogamy, which forbids the marriage of people who are not related by
blood, must apparently have been prior to the feeling simply against
connections of persons related by blood or what we call incest. If the
two-class system was introduced in Australia to prohibit the marriage
of brothers and sisters at a time when they could not recognise each
other in adult life, then on the introduction of personal names which
would enable brothers and sisters to recognise and remember each other,
the two-class system should have been succeeded by a modern table of
prohibited degrees, and not by clan exogamy at all. It is suggested
that the two-class system was a common and natural form of evolution
of a society divided into exogamous totem clans with female descent,
when a man was not taken into the clan of the woman with whom he
lived. The further subdivision into four and eight sub-classes is
almost peculiar to the Australian tribes; its development may perhaps
be attributed to the fact that these tribes have retained the system
of female descent and the migratory hunting method of life for an
abnormally long period, and have evolved this special institution
to prevent the unions of near relatives which are likely to occur
under such conditions. The remains of a two-class system appear to
be traceable among the Gonds of the Central Provinces. In one part of
Bastar all the Gond clans are divided into two classes without names,
and a man cannot marry a woman belonging to any clan of his own class,
but must take one from a clan of the other class. Elsewhere the Gonds
are divided into two groups of six-god and seven-god worshippers among
whom the same rule obtains. Formerly the Gonds appear in some places
to have had seven groups, worshipping different numbers of gods from
one to seven, and each of these groups was exogamous. But after the
complete substitution of male for female kinship in the clan, and the
settlement of clans in different villages, the classes cease to fulfil
any useful purpose. They are now disappearing, and it is very difficult
to obtain any reliable information about their rules. The system of
counting kinship through the mother, or female descent, has long been
extinct in the Central Provinces and over most of India. Some survival
of it, or at least the custom of polyandry, is found among the Nairs
of southern India and in Thibet. Elsewhere scarcely a trace remains,
and this was also the condition of things with the classical races of
antiquity; so much so, indeed, that even great thinkers like Sir Henry
Maine and M. Fustel de Coulanges, with the examples only of India,
Greece and Rome before them, did not recognise the system of female
descent, and thought that the exogamous clan with male descent was
an extension of the patriarchal family, this latter having been the
original unit of society. The wide distribution of exogamy and the
probable priority of the system of female to that of male descent were
first brought prominently to notice by Mr. M'Lennan. Still a distinct
trace of the prior form survives here in the special relationship
sometimes found to exist between a man and his sister's children. This
is a survival of the period when a woman's children, under the rule of
female descent, belonged to her own family and her husband or partner
in sexual relations had no proprietary right or authority over them,
the place and authority of a father belonging in such a condition
of society to the mother's brother or brothers. Among the Halbas a
marriage is commonly arranged when practicable between a brother's
daughter and a sister's son. And a man always shows a special regard
and respect for his sister's son, touching the latter's feet as to a
superior, while whenever he desires to make a gift as an offering of
thanks and atonement, or as a meritorious action, the sister's son is
the recipient. At his death he usually leaves a substantial legacy,
such as one or two buffaloes, to his sister's son, the remainder of
the property going to his own family. Similarly among the Kamars the
marriage of a man's children with his sister's children is considered
the most suitable union. If a man's sister is poor, he will arrange
for the weddings of her children. He will never beat his sister's
children however much they may deserve it, and he will not permit his
sister's son or daughter to eat from the dish from which he eats. The
last rule, it is said, also applies to the maternal aunt. The Kunbis,
and other Maratha castes, have a saying: 'At the sister's house
the brother's daughter is a daughter-in-law.' The Gonds call the
wedding of a brother's daughter to a sister's son _Dudh lautana_, or
'bringing back the milk.' The reason why a brother was formerly anxious
to marry his daughter to his sister's son was that the latter would
be his heir under the matriarchal system; but now that inheritance is
through males, and girls are at a premium for marriage, a brother is
usually more anxious to get his sister's daughter for his son, and on
the analogy of the opposite union it is sometimes supposed, as among
the Gonds, that he also has a right to her. Many other instances of
the special relation between a brother and his sister's children are
given by Sir J.G. Frazer in _Totemism and Exogamy_. In some localities
also the Korkus build their villages in two long lines of houses on
each side of the road, and it may be the case that this is a relic
of the period when two or more clans with female descent lived in the
same village, and those belonging to each class who could not marry or
have sexual relations among themselves occupied one side of the road.

70. Marriage.

The transfer of the reckoning of kinship and descent from the
mother's to the father's side may perhaps be associated with the full
recognition of the physical fact of paternity. Though they may not
have been contemporaneous in all or even the majority of societies,
it would seem that the former was in most cases the logical outcome
of the latter, regard being had also to the man's natural function
as protector of the family and provider of its sustenance. But this
transition from female to male kinship was a social revolution of the
first importance. Under the system of female descent there had been
generally no transfer of clanship; both the woman and her partner or
husband retained their own clans, and the children belonged to their
mother's clan. In the totemic stage of society the totem-clan was the
vital organism, and the individual scarcely realised his own separate
existence, but regarded himself as a member of his totem-clan, being
a piece or fraction of a common life which extended through all the
members of the clan and all the totem animals of the species. They
may have thought also that each species of animals and plants had a
different kind of life, and consequently also each clan whose life
was derived from, and linked to, that of its totem-species. For the
name, and life, and qualities, and flesh and blood were not separate
conceptions, but only one conception; and since the name and qualities
were part of the life, the life of one species could not be the same
as that of another, and every species which had a separate name must
have been thought to have a different kind of life. Nor would man have
been regarded as a distinct species in the early totem-stage, and there
would be no word for man; but each totem-clan would regard itself as
having the same life as its totem-species. With the introduction of the
system of male kinship came also the practice of transferring a woman
from her own clan to that of her husband. It may be suggested that
this was the origin of the social institution of marriage. Primitive
society had no provision for such a procedure, which was opposed
to its one fundamental idea of its own constitution, and involved a
change of the life and personality of the woman transferred.

71. Marriage by capture.

The view seems to have been long held that this transfer could only
be effected by violence or capture, the manner in which presumably
it was first practised. Marriage by capture is very widely prevalent
among savage races, as shown by Mr. M'Lennan in _Primitive Marriage_,
and by Dr. Westermarck in _The History of Human Marriage_. Where the
custom has given place to more peaceable methods of procuring a wife,
survivals commonly occur. In Bastar the regular capture of the girl is
still sometimes carried out, though the business is usually arranged
by the couple beforehand, and the same is the case among the Kolams of
Wardha. A regular part of the marriage procedure among the Gonds and
other tribes is that the bride should weep formally for some hours,
or a day before the wedding, and she is sometimes taught to cry in the
proper note. At the wedding the bride hides somewhere and has to be
found or carried off by the bridegroom or his brother. This ritualistic
display of grief and coyness appears to be of considerable interest. It
cannot be explained by the girl's reluctance to marriage as involving
the loss of her virginity, inasmuch as she is still frequently not a
virgin at her wedding, and to judge from the analogy of other tribes,
could seldom or never have been one a few generations back. Nor is
affection for her family or grief at the approaching separation from
them a satisfactory motive. This would not account for the hiding
at all, and not properly for the weeping, since she will after all
only live a few miles away and will often return home; and sometimes
she does not only weep at her own house but at all the houses of
the village. The suggestion may be made that the procedure really
indicates the girl's reluctance to be severed from her own clan and
transferred to another; and that the sentiment is a survival of the
resistance to marriage by capture which was at first imposed on the
women by the men from loyalty to the clan totem and its common life,
and had nothing to do with the conjugal relationship of marriage. But
out of this feeling the sexual modesty of women, which had been
non-existent in the matriarchal condition of society, was perhaps
gradually developed. The Chamars of Bilaspur have sham fights on the
approach of the wedding party, and in most Hindu castes the bridegroom
on his arrival performs some militant action, such as striking the
marriage-shed or breaking one of its festoons. After the marriage
the bride is nearly always sent home with the bridegroom's party for
a few days, even though she may be a child and the consummation of
the marriage impossible. This may be in memory of her having formerly
been carried off, and some analogous significance may attach to our
honeymoon. When the custom of capture had died down it was succeeded
by the milder form of elopement, or the bride was sold or exchanged
against a girl from the bridegroom's family or clan, but there is
usually a relic of a formal transfer, such as the Hindu _Kanyadan_ or
gift of the virgin, the Roman _Traditio in manum_ or her transfer from
her father's to her husband's power, and the giving away of the bride.

72. Transfer of the bride to her husband's clan.

These customs seem to mark the transfer of the woman from her
father's to her husband's clan, which was in the first instance
effected forcibly and afterwards by the free gift of her father or
guardian, and the change of surname would be a relic of the change of
clan. Among the Hindus a girl is never called by her proper name in
her husband's house, but always by some other name or nickname. This
custom seems to be a relic of the period when the name denoted the
clan, though it no longer has any reference either to the girl's
clan or family. Another rite portraying the transfer in India is the
marking of the bride's forehead with vermilion, which is no doubt a
substitute for blood. The ceremony would be a relic of participation
in the clan sacrifice when the bride would in the first place drink
the blood of the totem animal or tribal god with the bridegroom in
sign of her admission to his clan and afterwards be marked with the
blood as a substitute. This smear of vermilion a married woman always
continues to wear as a sign of her state, unless she wears pink powder
or a spangle as a substitute. [167] Where this pink powder _(kunku)_
or spangles are used they must always be given by the bridegroom to
the bride as part of the _Sohag_ or trousseau. At a Bhaina wedding the
bride's father makes an image in clay of the bird or animal of the
groom's sept and places it beside the marriage-post. The bridegroom
worships the image, lighting a sacrificial fire before it, or offers
to it the vermilion which he afterwards smears upon the forehead of
the bride. The Khadals at their marriages worship their totem animal
or tree, and offer to it flowers, sandalwood, vermilion, uncooked rice,
and the new clothes and ornaments intended for the bride, which she may
not wear until this ceremony has been performed. Again, the sacrament
of the Meher or marriage cakes is sometimes connected with the clan
totem in India. These cakes are cooked and eaten sacramentally by all
the members of the family and their relatives, the bride and bridegroom
commencing first. Among the Kols the relatives to whom these cakes are
distributed cannot intermarry, and this indicates that the eating of
them was formerly a sacrament of the exogamous clan. The association of
the totem with the marriage cakes is sometimes clearly shown. Thus in
the Dahait caste members of the clans named after certain trees, go to
the tree at the time of their weddings and invite it to be present at
the ceremony. They offer the marriage cakes to the tree. Those of the
Nagotia or cobra clan deposit the cakes at a snake's hole. Members of
the Singh (lion) and Bagh (tiger) clans draw images of these animals on
the wall at the time of their weddings and offer the cakes to them. The
Basors of the Kulatia or somersault clan do somersaults at the time of
eating the cakes; those of the Karai Nor clan, who venerate a well,
eat the cakes at a well and not at home. Basors of the Lurhia clan,
who venerate a grinding-stone, worship this implement at the time
of eating the marriage cakes. M. Fustel de Coulanges states that
the Roman Confarreatio, or eating of a cake together by the bride
and bridegroom in the presence of the family gods of the latter,
constituted their holy union or marriage. By this act the wife was
transferred to the gods and religion of her husband. [168] Here the
gods referred to are clearly held to be the family gods, and in the
historical period it seems doubtful whether the Roman _gens_ was still
exogamous. But if the patriarchal family developed within the exogamous
clan tracing descent through males, and finally supplanted the clan as
the most important social unit, then it would follow that the family
gods were only a substitute for the clan gods, and the bride came to
be transferred to her husband's family instead of to his clan. The
marriage ceremony in Greece consisted of a common meal of a precisely
similar character, [169] and the English wedding cake seems to be a
survival of such a rite. At their weddings the Bhils make cakes of
the large millet juari, calling it Juari Mata or Mother Juari. These
cakes are eaten at the houses of the bride and bridegroom by the
members of their respective clans, and the remains are buried inside
the house as sacred food. Dr. Howitt states of the Kurnai tribe: "By
and by, when the bruises and perhaps wounds received in these fights
(between the young men and women) had healed, a young man and a young
woman might meet, and he, looking at her, would say, for instance,
'Djiitgun! [170] What does the Djiitgun eat?' The reply would be
'She eats kangaroo, opossum,' or some other game. This constituted a
formal offer and acceptance, and would be followed by the elopement of
the couple as described in the chapter on Marriage." [171] There is
no statement that the question about eating refers to the totem, but
this must apparently have been the original bearing of the question,
which otherwise would be meaningless. Since this proposal of marriage
followed on a fight between the boys and girls arising from the fact
that one party had injured the other party's sex-totem, the fight
may perhaps really have been a preliminary to the proposal and have
represented a symbolic substitute for or survival of marriage by
capture. Among the Santals, Colonel Dalton says, "the social meal
that the boy and girl eat together is the most important part of the
ceremony, as by the act the girl ceases to belong to her father's tribe
and becomes a member of the husband's family." Since the terms tribe
and family are obviously used loosely in the above statement, we may
perhaps substitute clan in both cases. Many other instances of the rite
of eating together at a wedding are given by Dr. Westermarck. [172]
If, therefore, it be supposed that the wedding ceremony consisted
originally of the formal transfer of the bride to the bridegroom's
clan, and further that the original tie which united the totem-clan
was the common eating of the totem animal, then the practice of the
bride and bridegroom eating together as a symbol of marriage can be
fully understood. When the totem animal had ceased to be the principal
means of subsistence, bread, which to a people in the agricultural
stage had become the staff or chief support of life, was substituted
for it, as argued by Professor Robertson Smith in _The Religion of the
Semites_. If the institution of marriage was thus originally based on
the forcible transfer of a woman from her own to her husband's clan,
certain Indian customs become easily explicable in the light of this
view. We can understand why a Brahman or Rajput thought it essential to
marry his daughter into a clan or family of higher status than his own;
because the disgrace of having his daughter taken from him by what
had been originally an act of force, was atoned for by the superior
rank of the captor or abductor. And similarly the terms father-in-law
and brother-in-law would be regarded as opprobrious because they
originally implied not merely that the speaker had married the sister
or daughter of the person addressed, but had married her forcibly,
thereby placing him in a position of inferiority. A Rajput formerly
felt it derogatory that any man should address him either as father-or
brother-in-law. And the analogous custom of a man refusing to take food
in the house of his son-in-law's family and sometimes even refusing
to drink water in their village would be explicable on precisely the
same grounds. This view of marriage would also account for the wide
prevalence of female infanticide. Because in the primitive condition
of exogamy with male descent, girls could not be married in their
own clan, as this would transgress the binding law of exogamy, and
they could not be transferred from their own totem-clan and married
in another except by force and rape. Hence it was thought better to
kill girl children than to suffer the ignominy of their being forcibly
carried off. Both kinds of female infanticide as distinguished by Sir
H. Risley [173] would thus originally be due to the same belief. The
Khond killed his daughter because she could not be married otherwise
than by forcible abduction; not necessarily because he was unable to
protect her, but because he could not conceive of her being transferred
from one totem-clan to another by any other means; and he was bound to
resist the transfer because by acquiescing in it, he would have been
guilty of disloyalty to his own totem, whose common life was injured
by the loss of the girl. The Rajput killed his daughter because it
was a disgrace to him to get her married at all outside his clan,
and she could not be married within it. Afterwards the disgrace was
removed by marrying her into a higher clan than his own and by lavish
expenditure on the wedding; and the practice of female infanticide
was continued to avoid the ruinous outlay which this primitive view of
marriage had originally entailed. The Hindu custom of the Swayamvara
or armed contest for the hand of a Rajput princess, and the curious
recognition by the Hindu law-books of simple rape as a legitimate
form of marriage would be explained on the same ground.

73. The exogamous clan with male descent and the village.

It has been seen that the exogamous clan with female descent contained
no married couples, and therefore it was necessary either that outside
men should live with it, or that the clans should continually meet each
other, or that two or more should live in the same village. With the
change to male descent and the transfer of women to their husbands'
clans, this unstable characteristic was removed. Henceforth the clan
was self-contained, having its married couples, both members of it,
whose children would also be born in and belong to it. Since the
clan was originally a body of persons who wandered about and hunted
together, its character would be maintained by living together, and
there is reason to suppose that the Indian exogamous clan with male
descent took its special character because its members usually lived
in one or more villages. This fact would account for the large number
and multiplication of clans in India as compared with other places. As
already seen one of the names of a clan is _khera_, which also means
a village, and a large number of the clan names are derived from, or
the same, as those of villages. Among the Khonds all the members of
one clan live in the same locality about some central village. Thus
the Tupa clan are collected about the village of Teplagarh in Patna
State, the Loa clan round Sindhekala, the Borga clan round Bangomunda
and so on. The Nunias of Mirzapur, Mr. Crooke remarks, [174] have
a system of local subdivisions called _dih_, each subdivision being
named after the village which is supposed to be its home. The word
_dih_ itself means a site or village. Those who have the same _dih_
do not intermarry. In the villages first settled by the Oraons, Father
Dehon states, [175] the population is divided into three _khunts_
or branches, the founders of the three branches being held to have
been sons of the first settler. Members of each branch belong to
the same clan or _got_. Each _khunt_ or branch has a share of the
village lands. The Mochis or cobblers have forty exogamous sections
or _gotras_, mostly named after Rajput clans, and they also have an
equal number of _kheras_ or groups named after villages. The limits of
the two groups seem to be identical; and members of each group have an
ancestral village from which they are supposed to have come. Marriage
is now regulated by the Rajput sept-names, but the probability is that
the _kheras_ were the original divisions, and the Rajput _gotras_
have been more recently adopted in support of the claims already
noticed. The Parjas have totemistic exogamous clans and marriage is
prohibited in theory between members of the same clan. But as the
number of clans is rather small, the rule is not adhered to, and
members of the same clan are permitted to marry so long as they do
not come from the same village. The Minas of Rajputana are divided
into twelve exogamous _pals_ or clans; the original meaning of the
word _pal_ was a defile or valley suitable for defence, where the
members of the clan would live together as in a Scotch glen.

Thus among the cultivating castes apparently each exogamous clan
consisted originally of the residents of one village, though they
afterwards spread to a number of villages. The servile labouring
castes may also have arranged their clans by villages as the primitive
forest-tribes did. How the menial castes formed exogamous clans is
not altogether clear, as the numbers in one village would be only
small. But it may be supposed that as they gradually increased,
clans came into existence either in one large village or a number
of adjacent ones, and sometimes traced their descent from a single
family or from an ancestor with a nickname. As a rule, the artisan
castes do not appear to have formed villages of their own in India, as
they did in Russia, though this may occasionally have happened. When
among the cultivating castes the lands were divided, separate joint
families would be constituted; the head only of each family would be
its representative in the clan, as he would hold the share of the
village land assigned to the family, which was their joint means
of subsistence, and the family would live in one household. Thus
perhaps the Hindu joint family came into existence as a subdivision
of the exogamous clan with male descent, on which its constitution
was modelled. In Chhattisgarh families still live together in large
enclosures with separate huts for the married couples. A human
ancestor gradually took the place of the totem as the giver of life
to the clan. The members thought themselves bound together by the tie
of his blood which flowed through all their veins, and frequently,
as in Athens, Rome and Scotland, every member of the clan bore his
name. In this capacity, as the source of the clan's life, the original
ancestor was perhaps venerated, and on the development of the family
system within the clan, the ancestors of the family were held in
a similar regard, and the feeling extended to the living ancestor
or father, who is treated with the greatest deference in the early
patriarchal family. Even now Hindu boys, though they may be better
educated and more intelligent than their father, will not as a rule
address him at meals unless he speaks to them first, on account of
their traditional respect for him. The regard for the father may be
strengthened by his position as the stay and support of the family,
but could scarcely have arisen solely from this cause.

Dr. Westermarck's view that the origin of exogamy lay in the feeling
against the marriage of persons who lived together, receives support
from the fact that a feeling of kinship still subsists between Hindus
living in the same village, even though they may belong to different
castes and clans. It is commonly found that all the households of a
village believe themselves in a manner related. A man will address
all the men of the generation above his own as uncle, though they may
be of different castes, and the children of the generation below his
own as niece and nephew. When a girl is married, all the old men of
the village call her husband 'son-in-law.' This extends even to the
impure castes who cannot be touched. Yet owing to the fact that they
live together they are considered by fiction to be related. The Gowari
caste do not employ Brahmans for their weddings, but the ceremony is
performed by the _bhanja_ or sister's son either of the girl's father
or the boy's father. If he is not available, any one whom either the
girl's father or the boy's father addresses as _bhanja_ or nephew
in the village, even though he may be no relation and may belong to
another caste, may perform the ceremony as a substitute. Among the
Oraons and other tribes prenuptial intercourse between boys and girls
of the same village is regularly allowed. It is not considered right,
however, that these unions should end in marriage, for which partners
should be sought from other villages. [176] In the Maratha country
the villagers have a communal feast on the occasion of the Dasahra
festival, the Kunbis or cultivators eating first and the members of
the menial and labouring castes afterwards.

74. The large exogamous clans of the Brahmans and Rajputs. The
Sapindas, the _gens_ and the g'enoc.

The Brahmans and Rajputs, however, and one or two other military
castes, as the Marathas and Lodhis, do not have the small exogamous
clans (which probably, as has been seen, represented the persons
who lived together in a village), but large ones. Thus the Rajputs
were divided into thirty-six royal races, and theoretically all these
should have been exogamous, marrying with each other. Each great clan
was afterwards, as a rule, split into a number of branches, and it is
probable that these became exogamous; while in cases where a community
of Rajputs have settled on the land and become ordinary cultivators,
they have developed into an endogamous subcaste containing small
clans of the ordinary type. It seems likely that the Rajput clan
originally consisted of those who followed the chief to battle and
fought together, and hence considered themselves to be related. This
was, as a matter of fact, the case. Colonel Tod states that the great
Rathor clan, who said that they could muster a hundred thousand swords,
spoke of themselves as the sons of one father. The members of the
Scotch clans considered themselves related in the same manner, and
they were probably of similar character to the Rajput clans. [177]
I do not know, however, that there is any definite evidence as to
the exogamy of the Scotch clans, which would have disappeared with
their conversion to Christianity. The original Rajput clan may perhaps
have lived round the chiefs castle or headquarters and been supported
by the produce of his private fief or demesne. The regular Brahman
_gotras_ are also few in number, possibly because they were limited
by the paucity of eponymous saints of the first rank. The word _gotra_
means a stall or cow-pen, and would thus originally signify those who
lived together in one place like a herd of cattle. But the _gotras_
are now exceedingly large, the same ones being found in most or all of
the Brahman subcastes, and it is believed that they do not regulate
marriage as a rule. Sometimes ordinary surnames have taken the place
of clan names, and persons with the same surname consider themselves
related and do not marry. But usually Brahmans prohibit marriage
between Sapindas or persons related to each other within seven degrees
from a common ancestor. The word Sapinda signifies those who partake
together of the _pindas_ or funeral cakes offered to the dead. The
Sapindas are also a man's heirs in the absence of closer relations;
the group of the Sapindas is thus an exact replica within the _gotra_
of the primitive totem clan which was exogamous and constituted by
the tie of living and eating together. Similarly marriage at Rome
was prohibited to seven degrees of relationship through males within
the _gens_, [178] and this exogamous group of kinsmen appear to have
been the body of agnatic kinsmen within the _gens_ who are referred
to by Sir H. Maine as a man's ultimate heirs. [179] At Athens, when
a contest arose upon a question of inheritance, the proper legal
evidence to establish kinship was the proof that the alleged ancestor
and the alleged heir observed a common worship and shared in the
same repast in honour of the dead. [180] The distant heirs were thus
a group within the Athenian g'enoc corresponding to the Sapindas and
bound by the same tie of eating together. Professor Hearn states that
there is no certain evidence that the Roman _gens_ and Greek g'enoc
were originally exogamous, but we find that of the Roman matrons whose
names are known to us none married a husband with her own Gentile name;
and further, that Plutarch, in writing of the Romans, says that in
former days men did not marry women of their own blood or, as in the
preceding sentence he calls them, kinswomen suggen'idac, just as in
his own day they did not marry their aunts or sisters; and he adds
that it was long before they consented to wed with cousins. [181]
Professor Hearn's opinion was that the Hindu _gotra_, the Roman
_gens_ and the Greek g'enoc were originally the same institution,
the exogamous clan with male descent, and all the evidence available,
as well as the close correspondence in other respects of early Hindu
institutions with those of the Greek and Latin cities would tend to
support this view.

75. Comparison of Hindu society with that of Greece and Rome. The

In the admirable account of the early constitution of the city-states
of Greece and Italy contained in the work of M. Fustel de Coulanges,
_La Cite Antique_, a close resemblance may be traced with the main
strata of Hindu society given earlier in this essay. The Roman state
was composed of a number of _gentes_ or clans, each _gens_ tracing
its descent from a common ancestor, whose name it usually bore. The
termination of the Gentile name in _ius_ signified descendant, as
Claudius, Fabius, and so on. Similarly the names of the Athenian
g'enh or clans ended in _ides_ or _ades_, as Butades, Phytalides,
which had the same signification. [182] The Gentile or clan name
was the _nomen_ or principal name, just as the personal names of
the members of the totem-clans were at first connected with the
totems. The members of the _gens_ lived together on a section of
the city land and cultivated it under the control of the head of the
_gens_. The original _ager Romanus_ is held to have been 115 square
miles or about 74,000 acres, [183] and this was divided up among the
clans. The heads of clans originally lived on their estates and went
in to Rome for the periodical feasts and other duties. The principal
family or eldest branch of the _gens_ in the descent from a common
ancestor ranked above the others, and its head held the position of
a petty king in the territory of the _gens_. In Greece he was called
>'anax or basile'uc. [184] Originally the Roman Senate consisted
solely of the heads of _gentes,_ and the consuls, flamens and augurs
were also chosen exclusively from them; they were known as _patres_;
after the expulsion of the kings, fresh senators were added from
the junior branches of the _gentes_, of which there were at this
period 160, and these were known as _patres conscripti_ [185]. The
distinction between the eldest and junior branches of the _gentes_
may have corresponded to the distinction between the Kshatriyas and
Vaishyas, though as practically nothing is known of the constitution
of the original Kshatriyas, this can only be hypothetical.

76. The clients.

Within the _gens_, and living in the household or households of its
members, there existed a body of slaves, and also another class of
persons called clients. [186] The client was a servant and dependant;
he might be assigned a plot of land by his patron, but at first could
not transmit it nor hold it against his patron. It is probable that
originally he had no right of property of his own, but he gradually
acquired it. First he obtained a right of occupancy in his land and
of its devolution to his son if he had one. Finally he was given the
power of making a will. But he was still obliged to contribute to such
expenses of the patron as ransom in war, fines imposed by the courts,
or the dowry of a daughter. [187] The client was considered as a
member of the family and bore its name. [188] But he was not a proper
member of the family or _gens_, because his pedigree never ascended
to a _pater_ or the head of a _gens_. [189] It was incumbent on the
patron to protect the client, and guard his interests both in peace and
war. The client participated in the household and Gentile sacrifices
and worshipped the gods of the _gens_. [190] At first the people
of Rome consisted of three classes, the patricians, the clients and
the plebeians. In course of time, as the rights and privileges of the
plebeians increased after the appointment of tribunes, their position,
from having originally been much inferior, became superior to that of
the clients, and the latter preferred to throw off the tie uniting them
to their patrons and become merged in the plebeians. In this manner the
intermediate class of clients at length entirely disappeared. [191]
These clients must not be confused with the subsequent class of the
same name, who are found during the later period of the republic
and the empire, and were the voluntary supporters or hangers-on of
rich men. It would appear that these early clients corresponded very
closely to the household servants of the Indian cultivators, from
whom the village menial castes were developed. The Roman client was
sometimes a freed slave, but this would not have made him a member
of the family, even in a subordinate position. Apparently the class
of clients may have to a great extent originated in mixed descent, as
the Indian household and village menials probably did. This view would
account satisfactorily for the client's position as a member of the
family but not a proper one. From the fact that they were considered
one of the three principal divisions of the people it is clear that
the clients must at one time have been numerous and important.

77. The plebeians.

Below the clients came the plebeians, whose position, as M. Fustel
de Coulanges himself points out, corresponded very closely to that
of the Sudras. The plebeians had no religion and no ancestors;
they did not belong to a family or a _gens_. [192] They were a
despised and abject class, who lived like beasts outside the proper
boundary of the city. The touch of the plebeian was impure. [193]
"When tribunes were created a special law was necessary to protect
their life and liberty, and it was promulgated as follows: 'It is
forbidden to strike or kill a tribune, as if he was an ordinary
plebeian.' It would appear then that a patrician had the right to
strike or kill an ordinary plebeian, or at least that he was amenable
to no legal punishment for doing so." [194] Similarly in the ancient
Greek cities the citizens were known as >agajo'i or good, and the
plebeians as kako'i or bad. This latter class is described by the
poet Theognis as having had aforetime neither tribunals nor laws;
they were not allowed even to enter the town, but lived outside like
wild beasts. They had no part in the religious feasts and could not
intermarry with the proper citizens. [195]

This position corresponds exactly with that of the Sudras and the
existing impure castes, who have to live outside the village and
cannot enter or even approach Hindu temples.

M. de Coulanges considers that the plebeians were to a large
extent made up of conquered and subjected peoples. An asylum was
also established at Rome for broken men and outlaws from other
cities, with a view to increasing the population and strength of
the state. Subsequently the class of clients became absorbed among
the plebeians.

78. The binding social tie in the city-states.

Thus the gradation of society in the city-states of Greece and
Italy, the account given above being typical of them all, is seen to
correspond fairly closely with that of the Hindus, as exemplified in
the Hindu classics and the microcosm of Hindu society, the village
community. It is desirable, therefore, to inquire what was the tie
which united the members of the _gens_, the _curia_ or _phratry_,
and the city, and which distinguished the patricians from the
plebeians. On this point M. Fustel de Coulanges leaves us in no
doubt at all. The bond of union among all these bodies was a common
sacrifice or sacrificial meal, at which all the members had to be
present. "The principal ceremony of the religion of the household was
a meal, which was called a sacrifice. To eat a meal prepared on an
altar was, according to all appearance, the first form of religious
worship." [196] "The principal ceremony of the religion of the city
was also a public feast; it had to be partaken of communally by all
the citizens in honour of the tutelary deities. The custom of holding
these public feasts was universal in Greece; and it was believed
that the safety of the city depended on their accomplishment." [197]
M. de Coulanges quotes from the _Odyssey_ an account of one of these
sacred feasts at which nine long tables were set out for the people
of Pylos; five hundred citizens were seated and nine bulls were
slaughtered for each table. When Orestes arrived at Athens after the
murder of his mother, he found the people, assembled round their king,
about to hold the sacred feast. Similar feasts were held and numerous
victims were slaughtered in Xenophon's time. [198] At these meals the
guests were crowned with garlands and the vessels were of a special
form and material, such as copper or earthenware, no doubt dating
from the antique past. [199] As regards the importance and necessity
of being present at the Gentile sacrificial feast, the same author
states: "The Capitol was blockaded by the Gauls; but Fabius left
it and passed through the hostile lines, clad in religious garb,
and carrying in his hand the sacred objects; he was going to offer
a sacrifice on the altar of his _gens_ which was situated on the
Quirinal. In the second Punic war another Fabius, he who was called
the buckler of Rome, was holding Hannibal in check; it was assuredly
of the greatest importance to the Republic that he should not leave
his army; he left it, however, in the hands of the imprudent Minucius;
it was because the anniversary day of the sacrifice of his _gens_ had
come and it was necessary that he should hasten to Rome to perform the
sacred rite." In Greece the members of the _gens_ were known by the
fact that they performed communal sacrifices together from a remote
period. [200] As already seen, a communal sacrifice meant the eating
together of the sacred food, whether the flesh of a victim or grain.

79. The Suovetaurilia.

The Roman city sacrifice of the Suovetaurilia, as described by M. de
Coulanges, is of the greatest interest. The magistrate whose duty it
was to accomplish it, that is in the first place the king, after him
the consul, and after him the censor, had first to take the auspices
and ascertain that the gods were favourable. Then he summoned the
people through a herald by a consecrated form of words. On the
appointed day all the citizens assembled outside the walls; and
while they stood silent the magistrate proceeded three times round
the assembly, driving before him three victims--a pig, a ram and a
bull. The combination of these three victims constituted with the
Greeks as well as the Romans an expiatory sacrifice. Priests and
attendants followed the procession: when the third round had been
accomplished, the magistrate pronounced a prayer and slaughtered
the victims. From this moment all sins were expiated, and neglect of
religious duties effaced, and the city was at peace with its gods.

There were two essential features of this ceremony: the first, that
no stranger should be present at it; and the second, that no citizen
should be absent from it. In the latter case the whole city might not
have been freed from impurity. The Suovetaurilia was therefore preceded
by a census, which was conducted with the greatest care both at Rome
and Athens. The citizen who was not enrolled and was not present at
the sacrifice could no longer be a member of the city. He could be
beaten and sold as a slave, this rule being relaxed only in the last
two centuries of the Republic. Only male citizens were present at
the sacrifice, but they gave a list of their families and belongings
to the censor, and these were considered to be purified through the
head of the family. [201]

This sacrifice was called a _lustratio_ or purification, and in the
historical period was considered to be expiatory. But it does not
seem probable that this was its original significance. For there would
not in that case have been the paramount necessity for every citizen
to be present. All females and children under power were purified
through the list given to the censor, and there seems no reason why
absent citizens could not have been purified in the same manner. But
participation in this sacrifice was itself the very test and essence
of citizenship. And it has been seen that a public meal was the
principal religious rite of the city. The conclusion therefore seems
reasonable that the Suovetaurilia was originally also a sacrificial
meal of which each citizen partook, and that the eating of the deified
domestic animals in common was the essence of the rite and the act
which conferred the privilege of citizenship. The driving of the
sacrificial animals round the citizens three times might well be a
substitute for the previous communal meal, if for any reason, such as
the large number of citizens, the practice of eating them had fallen
into abeyance. The original ground for the taking of a census was to
ensure that all the citizens were present at the communal sacrifice;
and it was by the place which a man occupied on this day that his rank
in the city was determined till the next sacrifice. If the censor
counted him among the senators, he remained a senator; if among the
equites, he remained a knight; if as a simple member of a tribe,
he belonged henceforward to the tribe in which he was counted. If the
censor refused to enumerate him, he was no longer a citizen. [202] Such
was the vital importance of the act of participation in the sacrifice.

80. The sacrifice of the domestic animal.

The Roman sacrifice of the Suovetaurilia was in no way peculiar,
similar rites being found in other Greek and Latin cities. Some
instances are recorded in the article on Kasai, and in _Themis_
[203] Miss Jane Harrison gives an account of a sacrifice at Magnesia
in which a bull, ram and he- and she-goats were sacrificed to the
gods and partaken of communally by the citizens. As already seen,
the act of participation in the sacrifice conferred the status of
citizenship. The domestic animals were not as a rule eaten, but their
milk was drunk, and they were used for transport, and clothes were
perhaps sometimes made from their hair and skins. Hence they were the
principal source of life of the tribe, as the totem had been of the
clan, and were venerated and deified. One common life was held to run
through all the members of the tribe and all the domestic animals of
the species which was its principal means of support. In the totem
or hunting stage the clan had necessarily been small, because a
large collection of persons could not subsist together by hunting
and the consumption of roots and fruits. When an additional means
of support was afforded by the domestication of an important animal,
a much larger number of persons could live together, and apparently
several clans became amalgamated into a tribe. The sanctity of the
domestic animals was much greater than that of the totem because they
lived with man and partook of his food, which was the strongest tie
of kinship; and since he still endowed them with self-consciousness
and volition, he thought they had come voluntarily to aid him in
sustaining life. Both on this account and for fear of injuring the
common life they were not usually killed. But it was necessary to
primitive man that the tie should take a concrete form and that he
should actually assimilate the life of the sacred animal by eating
its flesh, and this was accordingly done at a ceremonial sacrifice,
which was held annually, and often in the spring, the season of the
renewal and increase of life. Since this renewal of the communal life
was the concrete tie which bound the tribe together, any one who was
absent from it could no longer be a member of the tribe. The whole of
this rite and the intense importance attached to it are inexplicable
except on the supposition that the tie which had originally constituted
the totem-clan was the eating of the totem-animal, and that this tie
was perpetuated in the tribe by the communal eating of the domestic
animal. The communal sacrifice of the domestic animal was, as already
seen, typical of society in the tribal or pastoral stage. But one very
important case, in addition to those given above and in the article
on Kasai, remains for notice. The Id-ul-Zoha or Bakr-Id festival of
the Muhammadans is such a rite. In pre-Islamic times this sacrifice
was held at Mecca and all the Arab tribes went to Mecca to celebrate
it. The month in which the sacrifice was held was one of those of
truce, when the feuds between the different clans were in abeyance
so that they could meet at Mecca. Muhammad continued the sacrifice of
the Id-ul-Zoha and it is this sacrifice which a good Muhammadan takes
the pilgrimage to Mecca to perform. He must be at Mecca on the tenth
day of the month of Z'ul Hijjah and perform the sacrifice there, and
unless he does this there is no special merit in making the journey
to Mecca. It is incumbent on every Muhammadan who can afford it to
make the pilgrimage to Mecca or the Hajj once in his life and perform
the sacrifice there; and though as a matter of fact only a very small
minority of Muhammadans now carry out the rule, the pilgrimage and
sacrifice may yet be looked upon as the central and principal rite
of the Muhammadan religion. All Muhammadans who cannot go to Mecca
nevertheless celebrate the sacrifice at home at the Indian festival
of the Id-ul-Zoha and the Turkish and Egyptian Idu-Bairam. At the
Id-ul-Zoha any one of four domestic animals, the camel, the cow,
the sheep or the goat, may be sacrificed; and this rule makes it a
connecting link between the two great Semitic sacrifices described in
the article on Kasai, the camel sacrifice of the Arabs in pre-Islamic
times and the Passover of the Jews. At the present time one-third
of the flesh of the sacrificial animal should be given to the poor,
one-third to relations, and the remainder to the sacrificer's own
family. [204] Though it has now become a household sacrifice, the
communal character thus still partly survives.

81. Sacrifices of the _gens_ and phratry.

Both in Athens and Rome there was a division known as phratry or
_curia_. This apparently consisted of a collection of _gentes_, g'enh,
or clans, and would correspond roughly to a Hindu subcaste. The
evidence does not show, however, that it was endogamous. The bond
which united the phratry or _curia_ was precisely the same as that of
the _gens_ or clan and the city. It consisted also in a common meal,
which was prepared on the altar, and was eaten with the recitation
of prayers, a part being offered to the god, who was held to be
present. At Athens on feast-days the members of the phratry assembled
round their altar. A victim was sacrificed and its flesh cooked on
the altar, and divided among the members of the phratry, great care
being taken that no stranger should be present. A young Athenian
was presented to the phratry by his father, who swore that the boy
was his son. A victim was sacrificed and cooked on the altar in the
presence of all the members of the phratry; if they were doubtful
of the boy's legitimacy, and hence wished to refuse him admittance,
as they had the right to do, they refused to remove the flesh from
the altar. If they did not do this, but divided and partook of the
flesh with the candidate, he was finally and irrevocably admitted to
the phratry. The explanation of this custom, M. de Coulanges states,
is that food prepared on an altar and eaten by a number of persons
together, was believed to establish between them a sacred tie which
endured through life. [205] Even a slave was to a certain degree
admitted into the family by the same tie of common eating of food. At
Athens he was made to approach the hearth; he was purified by pouring
water on his head, and ate some cakes and fruit with the members of
the family. This ceremony was analogous to those of marriage and
adoption. It signified that the new arrival, hitherto a stranger,
was henceforth a member of the family and participated in the family
worship. [206]

82. The Hindu caste-feasts.

The analogy of Greece and Rome would suggest the probability that
the tie uniting the members of the Indian caste or subcaste is also
participation in a common sacrificial meal, and there is a considerable
amount of evidence to support this view. The Confarreatio or eating
together of the bride and bridegroom finds a close parallel in the
family sacrament of the _Meher_ or marriage cakes, which has already
been described. This would appear formerly to have been a clan rite,
and to have marked the admission of the bride to the bridegroom's
clan. It is obligatory on relations of the families to attend a wedding
and they proceed from great distances to do so, and clerks and other
officials are much aggrieved if the exigencies of Government business
prevent them from obtaining leave. The obligation seems to be of
the same character as that which caused Fabius to leave the army in
order to attend his Gentile sacrifice at Rome. If he did not attend
the Gentile sacrifice he was not a member of the _gens_, and if a
Hindu did not attend the feast of his clan in past times perhaps he
did not remain a member of the clan. Among the Maratha Brahmans the
girl-bride eats with her husband's relations on this day only to mark
her admission into their clan, and among the Bengali Brahmans, when
the wedding guests are collected, the bride comes and puts a little
sugar on each of their leaf-plates, which they eat in token of their
recognition of her in her new status of married woman. The members
of the caste or subcaste also assemble and eat together on three
occasions: at a marriage, which will have the effect of bringing
new life into the community; at a death, when a life is lost; and
at the initiation of a new member or the readmission of an offender
temporarily put out of caste. It is a general rule of the caste feasts
that all members of the subcaste in the locality must be invited, and
if any considerable number of them do not attend, the host's position
in the community is impugned. For this reason he has to incur lavish
expenditure on the feast, so as to avoid criticism or dissatisfaction
among his guests. These consider themselves at liberty to comment
freely on the character and quality of the provisions offered to
them. In most castes the feast cannot begin until all the guests
have assembled; the Maheshri Banias and one or two other castes are
distinguished by the fact that they allow the guests at the _pangat_
or caste feast to begin eating as they arrive. Those who bear the host
a grudge purposely stay away, and he has to run to their houses and beg
them to come, so that his feast can begin. When the feast has begun
it was formerly considered a great calamity if any accident should
necessitate the rising of the guests before its conclusion. Even if
a dog or other impure animal should enter the assembly they would not
rise. The explanation of this rule was that it would be disrespectful
to Um Deo, the food-god, to interrupt the feast. At the feast each man
sits with his bare crossed knees actually touching those of the men
on each side of him, to show that they are one brotherhood and one
body. If a man sat even a few inches apart from his fellows, people
would say he was out of caste; and in recent times, since those out
of caste have been allowed to attend the feasts, they sit a little
apart in this manner. The Gowaris fine a man who uses abusive language
to a fellow-casteman at a caste feast, and also one who gets up and
leaves the feast without the permission of the caste headman. The
Hatkars have as the names of two exogamous groups _Wakmar_, or one
who left the Pangat or caste feast while his fellows were eating; and
_Polya_, or one who did not take off his turban at the feast. It has
been seen also [207] that in one or two castes the exogamous sections
are named after the offices which their members hold or the duties
they perform at the caste feast. Among the Halbas the illegitimate
subcaste Surait is also known as Chhoti Pangat or the inferior feast,
with the implication that its members cannot be admitted to the proper
feast of the caste, but have an inferior one of their own.

83. Taking food at initiation.

When an outsider is admitted to the caste the rite is usually
connected with food. A man who is to be admitted to the Dahait caste
must clean his house, break his earthen cooking-vessels and buy new
ones, and give a feast to the caste-fellows in his house. He sits
and takes food with them, and when the meal is over he takes a grain
of rice from the leaf-plate of each guest and eats it, and drinks a
drop of water from his leaf-cup. After this he cannot be readmitted
to his own caste. A new Mehtar or sweeper gives water to and takes
bread from each casteman. In Mandla a new convert to the Panka caste
vacates his house and the caste _panchayat_ or committee go and live
in it, in order to purify it. He gives them a feast inside the house,
while he himself stays outside. Finally he is permitted to eat with
the _panchayat_ in his own house in order to mark his admission into
the caste. A candidate for admission in the Mahli caste has to eat
a little of the leavings of the food of each of the castemen at a
feast. The community of robbers known as Badhak or Baoria formerly
dwelt in the Oudh forests. They were accustomed to take omens from
the cry of the jackal, and they may probably have venerated it as
representing the spirit of the forest and as a fellow-hunter. They
were called jackal-eaters, and it was said that when an outsider was
admitted to one of their bands he was given jackal's flesh to eat.

Again, the rite of initiation or investiture with the sacred thread
appears to be the occasion of the admission of a boy to the caste
community. Before this he is not really a member of the caste and may
eat any kind of food. The initiation is called by the Brahmans the
second birth, and appears to be the birth of the soul or spirit. After
it the boy will eat the sacrificial food at the caste feasts and be
united with the members of the caste and their god. The bodies of
children who have not been initiated are buried and not burnt. The
reason seems to be that their spirits will not go to the god nor
be united with the ancestors, but will be born again. Formerly such
children were often buried in the house or courtyard so that their
spirits might be born again in the same family. The lower castes
sometimes consider the rite of ear-piercing as the initiation and
sometimes marriage. Among the Panwar Rajputs a child is initiated when
about two years old by being given cooked rice and milk to eat. The
initiation cannot for some reason be performed by the natural father,
but must be done by a _guru_ or spiritual father, who should thereafter
be regarded with a reverence equal to or even exceeding that paid to
the natural father.

84. Penalty feasts.

When a man is readmitted to caste after exclusion for some offence,
the principal feature of the rite is a feast at which he is again
permitted to eat with his fellows. There are commonly two feasts, one
known as the _Maili Roti_ or impure meal, and the other as _Chokhi_
or pure, both being at the cost of the offender. The former is eaten
by the side of a stream or elsewhere on neutral ground, and by it
the offender is considered to be partly purified; the latter is in
his own house, and by eating there the castemen demonstrate that no
impurity attaches to him, and he is again a full member. Some castes,
as the Dhobas, have three feasts: the first is eaten at the bank
of a stream, and at this the offender's hair is shaved and thrown
into the stream; the second is in his yard; and the third in his
house. The offender is not allowed to partake of the first two meals
himself, but he joins in the third, and before it begins the head
of the _panchayat_ gives him water to drink in which gold has been
dipped as a purificatory rite. Among the Gonds the flesh of goats is
provided at the first meal, but at the second only grain cooked with
water, which they now, in imitation of the Hindus, consider as the
sacred sacrificial food. Frequently the view obtains that the head
of the caste _panchayat_ takes the offender's sins upon himself by
commencing to eat, and in return for this a present of some rupees
is deposited beneath his plate. Similarly among some castes, as the
Bahnas, exclusion from caste is known as the stopping of food and
water. The Gowaris readmit offenders by the joint drinking of opium and
water. One member is especially charged with the preparation of this,
and if there should not be enough for all the castemen to partake of
it, he is severely punished. Opium was also considered sacred by the
Rajputs, and the chief and his kinsmen were accustomed to drink it
together as a pledge of amity. [208]

85. Sanctity of grain-food.

Grain cooked with water is considered as sacred food by the
Hindus. It should be eaten only on a space within the house called
_chauka_ purified with cowdung, and sometimes marked out with white
quartz-powder or flour. Before taking his meal a member of the higher
castes should bathe and worship the household gods. At the meal he
should wear no sewn clothes, but only a waist-cloth made of silk or
wool, and not of cotton. The lower castes will take food cooked with
water outside the house in the fields, and are looked down upon for
doing this, so that those who aspire to raise their social position
abandon the practice, or at least pretend to do so. Sir J.G. Frazer
quotes a passage showing that the ancient Brahmans considered the
sacrificial rice-cakes cooked with water to be transformed into human
bodies. [209] The Urdu word _bali_ means a sacrifice or offering,
and is applied to the portion of the daily meal which is offered to
the gods and to the hearth-fire. Thus all grain cooked with water is
apparently looked upon as sacred or sacramental food, and it is for
this reason that it can only be eaten after the purificatory rites
already described. The grain is venerated as the chief means of
subsistence, and the communal eating of it seems to be analogous to
the sacrificial eating of the domestic animals, such as the camel,
horse, ox and sheep, which is described above and in the article on
Kasai. Just as in the hunting stage the eating of the totem-animal,
which furnished the chief means of subsistence, was the tie which
united the totem-clan: and in the pastoral stage the domestic animal
which afforded to the tribe its principal support, not usually as
an article of food, but through its milk and its use as a means of
transport, was yet eaten sacrificially owing to the persistence of the
belief that the essential bond which united the tribe was the communal
eating of the flesh of the animal from which the tribe obtained its
subsistence: so when the community reaches the agricultural stage
the old communal feast is retained as the bond of union, but it now
consists of grain, which is the principal support of life.

86. The corn-sprit.

The totem-animal was regarded as a kinsman, and the domestic
animal often as a god. [210] But in both these cases the life of
the kinsman and god was sacrificed in order that the community
might be bound together by eating the body and assimilating the
life. Consequently, when grain came to be the sacrificial food, it
was often held that an animal or human being must be sacrificed in
the character of the corn-god or spirit, whether his own flesh was
eaten or the sacred grain was imagined to be his flesh. Numerous
instances of the sacrifice of the corn-spirit have been adduced by
Sir J.G. Frazer in _The Golden Bough_, and it was he who brought
this custom prominently to notice. One of the most important cases
in India was the Meriah-sacrifice of the Khonds, which is described
in the article on that tribe.

Two features of the Khond sacrifice of a human victim as a corn-spirit
appear to indicate its derivation from the sacrifice of the domestic
animal and the eating of the totem-animal, the ties uniting the clan
and tribe: first, that the flesh was cut from the living victim, and,
second, that the sacrifice was communal. When the Meriah-victim was
bound the Khonds hacked at him with their knives while life remained,
leaving only the head and bowels untouched, so that each man might
secure a strip of flesh. This rite appears to recall the earliest
period when the members of the primitive group or clan tore their prey
to pieces and ate and drank the raw flesh and blood. The reason for
its survival was apparently that it was the actual life of the divine
victim, existing in concrete form in the flesh and blood which they
desired to obtain, and they thought that this end was more certainly
achieved by cutting the flesh off him while he was still alive. In
the sacrifice of the camel in Arabia the same procedure was followed;
the camel was bound on an altar and the tribesmen cut the flesh from
the body with their knives and swallowed it raw and bleeding. [211]
M. Salomon Reinach shows how the memory of similar sacrifices in Greece
has been preserved in legend: [212] "Actaeon was really a great stag
sacrificed by women devotees, who called themselves the great hind
and the little hinds; he became the rash hunter who surprised Artemis
at her bath and was transformed into a stag and devoured by his own
dogs. The dogs are a euphemism; in the early legend they were the
human devotees of the sacred stag who tore him to pieces and devoured
him with their bare teeth. These feasts of raw flesh survived in the
secret religious cults of Greece long after uncooked food had ceased
to be consumed in ordinary life. Orpheus (_ophreus,_ the haughty),
who appears in art with the skin of a fox on his head, was originally
a sacred fox devoured by the women of the fox totem-clan; these women
call themselves Bassarides in the legend, and _bassareus_ is one
of the old names of the fox. Hippolytus in the fable is the son of
Theseus who repels the advances of Phaedra, his stepmother, and was
killed by his runaway horses because Theseus, deceived by Phaedra,
invoked the anger of a god upon him. But Hippolytus in Greek means
'one torn to pieces by horses.' Hippolytus is himself a horse whom the
worshippers of the horse, calling themselves horses and disguised as
such, tore to pieces and devoured." All such sacrifices in which the
flesh was taken from the living victim may thus perhaps be derived
from the common origin of totemism. The second point about the Khond
sacrifice is that it was communal; every householder desired a piece
of the flesh, and for those who could not be present at the sacrifice
relays of messengers were posted to carry it to them while it was
still fresh and might be supposed to retain the life. They did not
eat the strips of flesh, but each householder buried his piece in his
field, which they believed would thereby be fertilised and caused to
produce the grain which they would eat. The death of the victim was
considered essential to the life of the tribe, which would be renewed
and strengthened by it as in the case of the sacrifice of the domestic
animal. Lord Avebury gives in _The Origin of Civilisation_ [213] an
almost exact parallel to the Khond sacrifice in which the flesh of the
victim actually was eaten. This occurred among the Marimos, a tribe of
South Africa much resembling the Bechuanas. The ceremony was called
'the boiling of the corn.' A young man, stout but of small stature,
was usually selected and secured by violence or by intoxicating him
with _yaala_. "They then lead him into the fields, and sacrifice him in
the fields, according to their own expression, _for seed_. His blood,
after having been coagulated by the rays of the sun, is burned along
with the frontal bone, the flesh attached to it and the brain. The
ashes are then scattered over the fields to fertilise them and the
remainder of the body is eaten." In other cases quoted by the same
author an image only was made of flour and eaten instead of a human
being: [214] "In Mexico at a certain period of the year the priest of
Quetzalcoatl made an image of the Deity, of meal mixed with infants'
blood, and then, after many impressive ceremonies, killed the image
by shooting it with an arrow, and tore out the heart, which was eaten
by the king, while the rest of the body was distributed among the
people, every one of whom was anxious to procure a piece to eat,
however small." Here the communal sacrificial meal, the remaining
link necessary to connect the sacrifice of the corn-spirit with that
of the domestic animal and clan totem, is present. Among cases of
animals sacrificed as the corn-spirit in India that of the buffalo
at the Dasahra festival is the most important. The rite extends
over most of India, and a full and interesting account of it has
recently been published by Mr. W. Crooke. [215] The buffalo is
probably considered as the corn-spirit because it was the animal
which mainly damaged the crops in past times. Where the sacrifice
still survives the proprietor of the village usually makes the first
cut in the buffalo and it is then killed and eaten by the inferior
castes, as Hindus cannot now touch the flesh. In the Deccan after
the buffalo is killed the Mahars rush on the carcase and each one
secures a piece of the flesh. This done they go in procession round
the walls, calling on the spirits and demons, and asking them to
accept the pieces of meat as offerings, which are then thrown to them
backwards over the wall. [216] The buffalo is now looked upon in the
light of a scape-goat, but the procedure described above cannot be
satisfactorily explained on the scape-goat theory, and would appear
clearly to have been substituted for the former eating of the flesh. In
the Maratha Districts the lower castes have a periodical sacrifice of
a pig to the sun; they eat the flesh of the pig together, and even
the Panwar Rajputs of the Waringanga Valley join in the sacrifice
and will allow the impure caste of Mahars to enter their houses and
eat of this sacrifice with them, though at other times the entry of
a Mahar would defile a Panwar's house. [217] The pig is sacrificed
either as the animal which now mainly injures the crops or because
it was the principal sacrificial animal of the non-Aryan tribes,
or from a combination of both reasons. Probably it may be regarded
as the corn-spirit because pigs are sacrificed to Bhanisasur or the
buffalo demon for the protection of the crops.

87. The king.

When the community reached the national or agricultural stage some
central executive authority became necessary for its preservation. This
authority usually fell into the hands of the priest who performed
the sacrifice, and he became a king. Since the priest killed the
sacrificial animal in which the common life of the community was
held to be centred, it was thought that the life passed to him and
centred in his person. For the idea of the extinction of life was not
properly understood, and the life of a human being or animal might
pass by contact, according to primitive ideas, to the person or even
the weapon which killed it, just as it could pass by assimilation
to those who ate the flesh. In most of the city-states of Greece
and Italy the primary function of the kings was the performance of
the communal or national sacrifices. Through this act they obtained
political power as representing the common life of the people, and
its performance was sometimes left to them after their political
power had been taken away. [218] After the expulsion of the kings
from Rome the duty of performing the city sacrifices devolved on
the consuls. In India also the kings performed sacrifices. When a
king desired to be paramount over his neighbours he sent a horse to
march through their territories. If it passed through them without
being captured they became subordinate to the king who owned the
horse. Finally the horse was sacrificed at the Ashva-medha, the
king paramount making the sacrifice, while the other kings performed
subordinate parts at it. [219] Similarly the Raja of Nagpur killed
the sacrificial buffalo at the Dasahra festival. But the common life
of the people was sometimes conveyed from the domestic animal to the
king by other methods than the performance of a sacrifice. The king
of Unyoro in Africa might never eat vegetable food but must subsist
on milk and beef. Mutton he might not touch, though he could drink
beer after partaking of meat. A sacred herd was kept for the king's
use, and nine cows, neither more nor less, were daily brought to the
royal enclosure to be milked for his majesty. The boy who brought
the cows from the pasture to the royal enclosure must be a member of
a particular clan and under the age of puberty, and was subject to
other restrictions. The milk for the king was drawn into a sacred
pot which neither the milkman nor anybody else might touch. The
king drank the milk, sitting on a sacred stool, three times a day,
and any which was left over must be drunk by the boy who brought the
cows from pasture. Numerous other rules and restrictions are detailed
by Sir J.G. Frazer, and it may be suggested that their object was to
ensure that the life of the domestic animal and with it the life of
the people should be conveyed pure and undefiled to the king through
the milk. The kings of Unyoro had to take their own lives while their
bodily vigour was still unimpaired. When the period for his death
arrived the king asked his wife for a cup of poison and drank it. "The
public announcement of the death was made by the chief milkman. Taking
a pot of the sacred milk in his hands he mounted the house-top and
cried, 'Who will drink the milk?' With these words he dashed the pot
on the roof; it rolled off and falling to the ground was broken in
pieces. That was the signal for war to the death between the princes
who aspired to the throne. They fought till only one was left alive. He
was the king." [220] After completing the above account, of which
only the principal points have been stated, Sir J.G. Frazer remarks:
"The rule which obliged the kings of Unyoro to kill themselves or be
killed before their strength of mind and body began to fail through
disease or age is only a particular example of a custom which appears
to have prevailed widely among barbarous tribes in Africa and to some
extent elsewhere. Apparently this curious practice rests on a belief
that the welfare of the people is sympathetically bound up with the
welfare of their king, and that to suffer him to fall into bodily or
mental decay would be to involve the whole kingdom in ruin." [221]
Other instances connecting the life of the king with the ox or other
domestic animal are given in _Totemism and Exogamy_ and _The Golden
Bough_ [222] Among the Hereros the body of a dead chief was wrapped
up in the hide of an ox before being buried. [223] In the Vedic
horse-sacrifice in India the horse was stifled in robes. The chief
queen approached him; a cloak having been thrown over them both,
she performed a repulsively obscene act symbolising the transmission
to her of his fructifying powers. [224] In other cases the king was
identified with the corn-spirit, and in this manner he also, it may
be suggested, represented the common life of the people.

The belief that the king was the incarnation of the common life of the
people led to the most absurd restrictions on his liberty and conduct,
a few instances of which from the large collection in _The Golden
Bough_ have been quoted in the article on Nai. Thus in an old account
of the daily life of the Mikado it is stated: "In ancient times he
was obliged to sit on the throne for some hours every morning, with
the imperial crown on his head, but to sit altogether like a statue,
without stirring either hands or feet, head or eyes, nor indeed any
part of his body, because, by this means, it was thought that he could
preserve peace and tranquillity in his empire; for if, unfortunately,
he turned himself on one side or the other, or if he looked a good
while towards any part of his dominions, it was apprehended that war,
famine, fire or some great misfortune was near at hand to desolate
the country." [225] Here it would appear that by sitting absolutely
immobile the king conferred the quality of tranquillity on the common
life of his people incarnate in his person; but by looking too long in
any one direction he would cause a severe disturbance of the common
life in the part to which he looked. And when the Israelites were
fighting with the Amalekites, so long as Moses held up his hands
the Israelites prevailed; but when his hands hung down they gave
way before the enemy. Here apparently the common life was held to
be centred in Moses, and when he held his arms up it was vigorous,
but declined as he let them down. Similarly it was often thought that
the king should be killed as soon as his bodily strength showed signs
of waning, so that the common life might be renewed and saved from a
similar decay. Even the appearance of grey hair or the loss of a tooth
were sometimes considered sufficient reasons for putting the king
to death in Africa. [226] Another view was that any one who killed
the king was entitled to succeed him, because the life of the king,
and with it the common life of the people, passed to the slayer,
just as it had previously passed from the domestic animal to the
priest-king who sacrificed it. One or two instances of succession by
killing the king are given in the article on Bhil. Sometimes the view
was that the king should be sacrificed annually, or at other intervals,
like the corn-spirit or domestic animal, for the renewal of the common
life. And this practice, as shown by Sir J.G. Frazer, tended to result
in the substitution of a victim, usually a criminal or slave, who was
identified with the king by being given royal honours for a short time
before his death. Sometimes the king's son or daughter was offered as
a substitute for him, and such a sacrifice was occasionally made in
time of peril, apparently as a means of strengthening or preserving
the common life. When Chitor, the home of the Sesodia clan of Rajputs,
was besieged by the Muhammadans, the tradition is that the goddess
of their house appeared and demanded the sacrifice of twelve chiefs
as a condition of its preservation. Eleven of the chiefs sons were
in turn crowned as king, and each ruled for three days, while on the
fourth he sallied out and fell in battle. Lastly, the Rana offered
himself in order that his favourite son, Ajeysi, might be spared and
might perpetuate the clan. In reality the chief and his sons seem
to have devoted themselves in the hope that the sacrifice of the
king might bring strength and victory to the clan. The sacrifice of
Iphigenia and possibly of Jephthah's daughter appear to be parallel
instances. The story of Alcestis may be an instance of the substitution
of the king's wife. The position of the king in early society and the
peculiar practices and beliefs attaching to it were brought to notice
and fully illustrated by Sir J.G. Frazer. The argument as to the clan
and the veneration of the domestic animal follows that outlined by
the late Professor Robertson Smith in _The Religion of the Semites_.

88. Other instances of the common meal as a sacrificial rite.

Some other instances of the communal eating of grain or other
food as a sacramental rite and bond of union have been given in the
articles. Thus at a Kabirpanthi Chauka or religious service the priest
breaks a cocoanut on a stone, and the flesh is cut up and distributed
to the worshippers with betel-leaf and sugar. Each receives it on his
knees, taking the greatest care that none falls on the ground. The
cocoanut is commonly regarded by the Hindus as a substituted offering
for a human head. The betel-leaves which are distributed have been
specially consecrated by the head priest of the sect, and are held
to represent the body of Kabir. [227]

Similarly, Guru Govind Singh instituted a _prasad_ or communion among
the Sikhs, in which cakes of flour, butter and sugar are made and
consecrated with certain ceremonies while the communicants sit round in
prayer, and are then distributed equally to all the faithful present,
to whatever caste they may belong. At a Guru-Mata or great council of
the Sikhs, which was held at any great crisis in the affairs of the
state, these cakes were laid before the Sikh scriptures and then eaten
by all present, who swore on the scriptures to forget their internal
dissensions and be united. Among the Rajputs the test of legitimacy
of a member of the chief's family was held to depend on whether
he had eaten of the chief's food. The rice cooked at the temple of
Jagannath in Orissa may be eaten there by all castes together, and,
when partaken of by two men together, is held to establish a bond of
indissoluble friendship between them.

Members of several low castes of mixed origin will only take food
with their relatives, and not with other families of the caste with
whom they intermarry. [228] The Chaukhutia Bhunjias will not eat food
cooked by other members of the same community, and will not take it
from their own daughters after the latter are married. At a feast
among the Dewars uncooked food is distributed to the guests, who
cook it for themselves; parents will not accept cooked food either
from married sons or daughters, and each family with its children
forms a separate commensal group. Thus the taking of food together
is a more important and sacred tie than intermarriage. In most Hindu
castes a man is not put out of caste for committing adultery with a
woman of low caste, but for taking cooked food from her hands; though
it is assumed that if he lives with her openly he must necessarily
have accepted cooked food from her. Opium and alcoholic liquor or
wine, being venerated on account of their intoxicating qualities,
were sometimes regarded as substitutes for the sacrificial food and
partaken of sacramentally. [229]

89. Funeral feasts.

An important class of communal meals remaining for discussion
consists in the funeral feasts. The funeral feast seems a peculiar
and unseasonable observance, but several circumstances point to
the conclusion that it was originally held in the dead man's own
interest. He or his spirit was indeed held to participate in the
feast, and it seems to have been further thought that unless he did
so and ate the sacred food, his soul would not proceed to the heaven
or god, but would wander about as an unquiet spirit or meet with
some other fate. Many of the lower Hindu castes, such as the Kohlis
and Bishnois, take food after a funeral, seated by the side of the
grave. This custom is now considered somewhat derogatory, perhaps in
consequence of a truer realisation of the fact of death. At a Baiga
funeral the mourners take one white and one black fowl to a stream and
kill and eat them there, setting aside a portion for the dead man. The
Gonds also take their food and drink liquor at the grave. The Lohars
think that the spirit of the dead man returns to join in the funeral
feast. Among the Telugu Koshtis the funeral party go to the grave
on the fifth day, and after the priest has worshipped the image of
Vishnu on the grave, the whole party take their food there. After a
Panka funeral the mourners bathe and then break a cocoanut over the
grave and distribute it among themselves. On the tenth day they go
again and break a cocoanut, and each man buries a little piece of it
in the earth over the grave. Among the Tameras, at the feast with
which mourning is concluded, a leaf-plate containing a portion for
the deceased is placed outside the house with a pot of water and a
burning lamp to guide his spirit to the food. On the third day after
death the Kolhatis sometimes bring back the skull of a corpse and,
placing it on the bed, offer to it powder, dates and betel-leaves, and
after a feast lasting for three days it is again buried. It is said
that the members of the Lingayat sect formerly set up the corpse in
their midst at the funeral feast and sat round it, taking their food,
but the custom is not known to exist at present. Among the Bangalas,
an African negro tribe, at a great funeral feast lasting for three
days in honour of the chief's son, the corpse was present at the
festivities tied in a chair. [230]

90. The Hindu deities and the sacrificial meal.

Thus there seems reason to suppose that the caste-tie of the Hindus is
the same as that which united the members of the city-states of Greece
and Italy, that is the eating of a sacramental food together. Among
the Vedic Aryans that country only was considered pure and fit for
sacrifice in which the Aryan gods had taken up their residence. [231]
Hindustan was made a pure country in which Aryans could offer
sacrifices by the fact that Agni, the sacrificial god of fire, spread
himself over it. But the gods have changed. The old Vedic deities
Indra, the rain-god, Varuna, the heaven-god, the Maruts or winds,
and Soma, the divine liquor, have fallen into neglect. These were the
principal forces which controlled the existence of a nomad pastoral
people, dependent on rain to make the grass grow for their herds,
and guiding their course by the sun and stars. The Soma or liquor
apparently had a warming, exhilarating effect in the cold climate
of the Central Asian steppes, and was therefore venerated. Since in
the hot plains of India abstinence from alcoholic liquor has become
a principal religious tenet of high-caste Hindus, Soma is naturally
no more heard of. Agni, the fire-god, was also one of the greatest
deities to the nomads of the cold uplands, as the preserver of life
against cold. But in India, except as represented by the hearth,
for cooking, little regard is paid to him, since fires are not
required for warmth. New gods have arisen in Hinduism. The sun was
an important Vedic deity, both as Mitra and under other names. Vishnu
as the sun, or the spirit of whom the sun is the visible embodiment,
has become the most important deity in his capacity of the universal
giver and preserver of life. He is also widely venerated in his
anthropomorphic forms of Rama, the hero-prince of Ajodhia and leader
of the Aryan expedition to Ceylon, and Krishna, the divine cowherd,
perhaps some fabled hero sprung from the indigenous tribes. Siva
is the mountain-god of the Himalayas and a moon-deity, and in his
character of god of destruction the lightning and cobra are associated
with him. But he is really worshipped in his beneficent form of the
phallic emblem as the agent of life, and the bull, the fertiliser
of the soil and provider of food. Devi, the earth, is the great
mother goddess. Sprung from her are Hanuman, the monkey-god, and
Ganpati, the elephant-god, and in one of her forms, as the terrible
goddess Kali, she is perhaps the deified tiger. [232] Lachmi, the
goddess of wealth, and held to have been evolved from the cow, is
the consort of Vishnu. It was thus not the god to whom the sacrifice
was offered, but the sacrifice itself that was the essential thing,
and participation in the common eating of the sacrifice constituted
the bond of union. In early times a sacrifice was the occasion for
every important gathering or festivity, as is shown both in Indian
history and legend. And the caste feasts above described seem to be
the continuation and modern form of the ancient sacrifice.

91. Development of the occupational caste from the tribe.

The Roman population, as already seen, consisted of a set of clans
or _gentes_. The clans were collected in tribal groups such as the
_curia_, but it does not appear that these latter were endogamous. The
rite which constituted a Roman citizen was participation in the
Suovetaurilia, the communal sacrifice of the domestic animals, the pig,
the ram, and the bull. Since all the Roman citizens at first lived
in a comparatively small area, they were all able to be present at
the sacrifice. The other states of Greece and Italy had an analogous
constitution, as stated by M. Fustel de Coulanges. It may be supposed
that the Aryans were similarly divided into clans and tribes. The
word _visha,_ the substantive root of Vaishya, originally meant
a clan. [233] But as pointed out by M. Senart, they did not form
city-states in India, but settled in villages over a large area of
country. Their method of government was by small states under kings,
and probably they had a kind of national constitution, of which the
king was the centre and embodiment. But these states gradually lost
their individuality, and were merged in large empires, where the king
could no longer be the centre of the state or of the common life
of his people, nor perform a sacrifice at which they could all be
present, as the Roman kings did. This religious idea of nationality,
based on participation in a common sacrifice, was the only one which
existed in early times. Thus apparently the Aryans retained their
tribal constitution instead of expanding it into a national one,
and the members of clans within a certain local area gathered for a
communal sacrifice. But there was a great class, that of the Sudras
or indigenous inhabitants, who could not join in the sacrifices at
all. And between the Sudras and the Vaishyas or main body of the
Aryans there gradually grew up another mixed class, which also could
not properly participate in them. The priests and rulers, Brahmans
and Kshatriyas, tended to form exclusive bodies, and in this manner a
classification by occupation gradually grew up, the distinction being
marked by participation in separate sacrificial feasts. The cause
which ultimately broke down the religious distinctions of the Roman
and Greek states was the development of a feeling of nationality. In
the common struggle for the preservation of the city the prejudices
of the patricians weakened, and after a long internal conflict, the
plebeians were admitted to full rights of citizenship. The plebeians
were employed as infantry in the Roman armies, while the patricians
rode, and the increased importance of infantry in war was one great
cause of the improvement in the position of the plebeians. [234] In
India, in the absence of any national feeling, and with the growth of
a large and powerful priestly order, religious barriers and prejudices
became accentuated rather than weakened. The class distinctions grew
more rigid, and gradually, as the original racial line of cleavage was
fused by intermarriage and the production of groups of varying status,
these came to arrange themselves on a basis of occupation. This is
the inevitable and necessary rule in all societies whose activities
and mode of life are at all complicated. Racial distinctions cannot
be preserved unless in the most exceptional cases, where they are
accentuated by the difference of colour, and such a moral and social
gulf as that which exists between the whites and negroes in North
America. In primitive society there is no such mental cleavage to
render the idea of fusion abhorrent to the superior race; the bar is
religious, and while it places the inferior race in a despised and
abject position, there is no prohibition of illicit unions nor any
such moral feeling or principle as would tend to restrict them. The
ideas of the responsibilities and duties of parentage in connection
with heredity, or the science of eugenics, are entirely modern, and
have no place at all in ancient society. As racial and religious
distinctions fade away, and social progress takes place, a fresh
set of divisions by wealth and occupation grows up. But though this
happened also in the Greek and Italian cities, the old religious
divisions were not transferred to the new occupational groups, but
fell slowly into abeyance, and the latter assumed the simply social
character which they have in modern communities. The main reason
for the obliteration of religious barriers, as already stated, was
the growth of the idea of nationality and the public interest. But
in India the feeling of nationality never arose. The Hindu states
and empires had no national basis, since at the period in question
the only way in which the idea of nationality could be conceived,
was by participation of the citizens in a common sacrifice, and this
participation is only possible to persons living in a small local
area. Hence Hindu society developed on its own lines independently
of the form of government to which it was subject, and in the new
grouping by occupation the old communal sacrifices were preserved
and adapted to the fresh divisions. The result was the growth of
the system of occupational castes which still exists. But since
the basis of society was the participation of each social group in
a communal meal, the group could not be extended to take in persons
of the same occupation over a large area, and as a result the widely
ramified system of subcastes came into existence. The subcaste or
commensal group was the direct evolutionary product of the pre-existing
tribe. Its size was limited by the fact that its members had to meet
at the periodical sacrificial feasts, by which their unity and the
tie which bound them together was cemented and renewed. As already
seen, when members of a subcaste migrated to a fresh local area,
and were cut off from communication with those remaining behind,
they tended as a rule to form a fresh endogamous and commensal
group. Since the tie between the members of the subcaste was
participation in a sacrificial meal of grain cooked with water, and
as this food was held to be sacred, the members of the subcaste came
to refuse to eat it except with those who could join in the communal
feast; and as the idea gradually gained acceptance, that a legitimate
child must be the offspring of a father and mother both belonging
to the commensal group, the practice of endogamy within the subcaste
became a rule.

92. Veneration of the caste implements.

Since all the citizens of the Roman State participated in a
common sacrifice, they might be considered as a single caste,
or even a subcaste or commensal group. The Hindu castes have a
common ceremony which presents some analogy to that of the Roman
state. They worship or pay homage once or twice a year to the
implements of their profession. The occasions for this rite are
usually the Dasahra festival in September and the fast after the Holi
festival in March. Both these are festivals of the goddess Devi or
Mother Earth, when a fast is observed in her honour, first before
sowing the spring crops and secondly before reaping them. On each
occasion the fast lasts for nine days and the Jawaras or pots of
wheat corresponding to the Gardens of Adonis are sown. The fasts and
festivals thus belong primarily to the agricultural castes, and they
worship the earth-mother, who provides them with subsistence. But the
professional and artisan castes also take the occasion to venerate the
implements of their profession. Thus among the Kasars or brass-workers,
at the festival of Mando Amawas or the new moon of Chait (March),
every Kasar must return to the community of which he is a member
and celebrate the feast with them. And in default of this he will
be expelled from the caste until the next Amawas of Chait comes
round. They close their shops and worship the implements of their
profession on this day. The rule is thus the same as that of the Roman
Suovetaurilia. He who does not join in the sacrificial feast ceases to
be a member of the community. And the object of veneration is the same;
the Romans venerated and sacrificed the domestic animals which in the
pastoral stage had been their means of subsistence. The Kasars and
other occupational castes worship the implements of their profession
which are also their means of livelihood, or that which gives them
life. Formerly all these implements were held to be animate, and to
produce their effect by their own power and volition. The Nats or
acrobats of Bombay say that their favourite and only living gods
are those which give them their bread: the drum, the rope and the
balancing-pole. The Murha or earth-digger invokes the implements of his
trade as follows: "O, my lord the basket, my lord the pickaxe shaped
like a snake, and my lady the hod! Come and eat up those who do not
pay me for my work!" Similarly the Dhimar venerates his fishing-net,
and will not wear shoes of sewn leather, because he thinks that the
sacred thread which makes his net is debased if used for shoes. The
Chamar worships his currier's knife; the Ghasia or groom his horse and
the peg to which the horse is secured in the stable; the Rajput his
horse and sword and shield; the writer his inkpot, and so on. The Pola
festival of the Kunbis has a feature resembling the Suovetaurilia. On
this occasion all the plough-bullocks of the cultivators are mustered
and go in procession to a _toran_ or arch constructed of branches
and foliage. The bullock of the village proprietor leads the way,
and has flaming torches tied to his horns. The bullocks of the other
cultivators follow according to the status of each cultivator in
the village, which depends upon hereditary right and antiquity of
tenure, and not on mere wealth. A Kunbi feels bitterly insulted if
his bullocks are not awarded the proper place in the procession. A
string across the arch is broken by the leading bullock, and the
cattle are then all driven helter-skelter through the arch and back
to the village. The rite would appear to be a relic of the communal
sacrifice of a bullock, the torches tied to the proprietor's bullock
signifying that he was formerly killed and roasted. It is now said
that this bullock is full of magic, and that he will die within
three years. The rite may be compared to the needfire as practised
in Russia when all the horses of the village were driven between two
fires, or through fire, and their bridles thrown into the fire and
burnt. The burning of the bridles would appear to be a substitute
for the previous sacrifice of the horse. [235] The Pola ceremony of
the Kunbis resembles the Roman Suovetaurilia inasmuch as all the
cultivators participate in it according to their status, just as
the rank of Roman citizens was determined by their position at the
ceremony. Formerly, if a bull was sacrificed and eaten sacramentally
it would have been practically an exact parallel to the Roman rite.

93. The caste _panchayat_ and its code of offences.

The tribunal for the punishment of caste offences is known as the
_panchayat_, because it usually consists of five persons (_panch_,
five). As a rule a separate _panchayat_ exists for every subcaste over
an area not too large for all the members of it to meet. In theory,
however, the _panchayat_ is only the mouthpiece of the assembly,
which should consist of all the members of the subcaste. Some castes
fine a member who absents himself from the meeting. The _panchayat_
may perhaps be supposed to represent the hand acting on behalf of
the subcaste, which is considered the body. The _panchayat_, however,
was not the original judge. It was at first the god before whom the
parties pleaded their cause, and the god who gave judgment by the
method of trial by ordeal. This was probably the general character
of primitive justice, and in some of the lower castes the ordeal is
still resorted to for decisions. The tribe or subcaste attended as
jurors or assessors, and carried out the proceedings, perhaps after
having united themselves to the god for the purpose by a sacrificial
meal. The _panchayat_, having succeeded the god as the judge, is
held to give its decisions by divine inspiration, according to the
sayings: 'God is on high and the _panch_ on earth,' and 'The voice
of the _panchayat_ is the voice of God.' [236] The headship of the
_panchayat_ and the subcaste commonly descends in one family, or did
so till recently, and the utmost deference is shown to the person
holding it, even though he may be only a boy for the above reason. The
offences involving temporary or permanent excommunication from caste
are of a somewhat peculiar kind. In the case of both a man and woman,
to take food from a person of a caste from whom it is forbidden to
do so, and especially from one of an impure caste, is a very serious
offence, as is also that of being beaten by a member of an impure
caste, especially with a shoe. It is also a serious offence to be
sent to jail, because a man has to eat the impure jail food. To be
handcuffed is a minor offence, perhaps by analogy with the major one
of being sent to jail, or else on account of the indignity involved
by the touch of the police. As regards sexual offences, there is no
direct punishment for a man as a rule, but if he lives with a low-caste
woman he is temporarily expelled because it is assumed that he has
taken food from her hands. Sometimes a man and woman of the caste
committing adultery together are both punished. A married woman who
commits adultery should in the higher and middle castes, in theory
at least, be permanently expelled, but if her husband does not put
her away she is sometimes readmitted with a severe punishment. A girl
going wrong with an outsider is as a rule expelled unless the matter
can be hushed up, but if she becomes pregnant by a man of the caste,
she can often be readmitted with a penalty and married to him or to
some other man. There are also some religious crimes, such as killing
a cow or a cat or other sacred domestic animal; and in the case of
a woman it is a very serious offence to get the lobe of her ear torn
apart at the large perforation usually made for earrings; [237] while
for either a man or a woman to get vermin in a wound is an offence of
the first magnitude, entailing several months' exclusion and large
expenditure on readmission. Offences against ordinary morality are
scarcely found in the category of those entailing punishment. Murder
must sometimes be expiated by a pilgrimage to the Ganges, but other
criminal offences against the person and property are not taken
cognisance of by the caste committee unless the offender is sent
to jail. Both in its negative and positive aspects the category
of offences affords interesting deductions on the basis of the
explanation of the caste system already given. The reason why there
is scarcely any punishment for offences against ordinary morality is
that the caste organisation has never developed any responsibility
for the maintenance of social order and the protection of life and
property. It has never exercised the function of government, because
in the historical Hindu period India was divided into large military
states, while since then it has been subject to foreign domination. The
social organisation has thus maintained its pristine form, neither
influenced by the government nor affording to it any co-operation or
support. And the aims of the caste tribunal have been restricted to
preserving its own corporate existence free from injury or pollution,
which might arise mainly from two sources. If a member's body was
rendered impure either by eating impure food or by contact with a
person of impure caste it became an unfit receptacle for the sacred
food eaten at the caste feast, which bound its members together in
one body. This appears to be the object of the rules about food. And
since the blood of the clan and of the caste is communicated by descent
through the father under the patriarchal system, adultery on the part
of a married woman would bring a stranger into the group and undermine
its corporate existence and unity. Hence the severity of the punishment
for the adultery of a married woman, which is a special feature of
the patriarchal system. It has already been seen that under the rule
of female descent, as shown by Mr. Hartland in _Primitive Paternity_,
the chastity of women was as a rule scarcely regarded at all or even
conceived of. After the change to the patriarchal system a similar
laxity seems to have prevailed for some period, and it was thought
that any child born to a man in his house or on his bed was his own,
even though he might not be the father. This idea obtained among the
Arabs, as pointed out by Professor Robertson Smith in _Kinship and
Marriage in Early Arabia_, and is also found in the Hindu classics,
and to some extent even in modern practice. It was perhaps based on
the virtue assigned to concrete facts; just as the Hindus think that a
girl is properly married by going through the ceremony with an arrow
or a flower, and that the fact of two children being suckled by the
same woman, though she is not their mother, establishes a tie akin
to consanguinity between them, so they might have thought that the
fact of a boy being born in a man's house constituted him the man's
son. Subsequently, however, the view came to be held that the clan
blood was communicated directly through the father, to whom the life
of the child was solely assigned in the early patriarchal period. And
the chastity of married women then became of vital importance to the
community, because the lack of it would cause strangers to be born
into the clan, which now based its tie of kinship on descent from
a common male ancestor. Thus the adultery of women became a crime
which would undermine the foundations of society and the state,
and as such was sometimes punished with death among communities
in the early patriarchal stage. It is this view, and not simply
moral principle, which has led to the severe caste penalties for the
offence. Some of the primitive tribes care nothing about the chastity
of unmarried girls, but punish unfaithful wives rigorously. Among the
Maria Gonds a man will murder his wife for infidelity, but girls are
commonly unchaste. Another rule sometimes found is that an unmarried
girl becoming with child by an outsider is put out of caste for the
time. When her child, which does not belong to the caste, has been
born, she must make it over to some outside family, and she herself
can then be readmitted to the community. Out of the view of adultery
as a religious and social offence, a moral regard for chastity is
however developing among the Hindus as it has in other societies.

94. The status of impurity.

It has been seen that the Sudras as well as the plebeians were regarded
as impure, and the reason was perhaps that they were considered to
belong to a hostile god. By their participation in the sacrifice
and partaking of the sacrificial food, the Indian Aryans and other
races considered that they were not only in fellowship with, but
actually a part of the god. And similarly their enemies were part
of the substance of a hostile god, whose very existence and contact
were abhorrent to their own. Hence their enemies should as far as
possible be completely exterminated, but when this was impossible
they must dwell apart and not pollute by contact of their persons,
or in any other way, the sacred soil on which the gods dwelt, nor
the persons of those who became part of the substance of the god by
participation in the sacrificial meal. For this reason the plebeians
had to live outside the Roman city, which was all sacred ground, and
the Sudras and modern impure castes have to live outside the village,
which is similarly sacred as the abode of the earth-goddess in her
form of the goddess of the land of that village. For the same reason
their contact had to be avoided by those who belonged to the village
and were united to the goddess by partaking of the crops which she
brought forth on her land. As already seen, the belief existed that the
life and qualities could be communicated by contact, and in this case
the worshippers would assimilate by contact the life of a god hostile
to their own. In the same manner, as shown by M. Salomon Reinach in
_Cults, Myths and Religions_, all the weapons, clothes and material
possessions of the enemy were considered as impure, perhaps because
they also contained part of the life of a hostile god. As already seen,
[238] a man's clothing and weapons were considered to contain part
of his life by contact, and since the man was united to the god by
partaking of the sacrificial feast, all the possessions of the enemy
might be held to participate in the life of the hostile god, and hence
they could not be preserved, nor taken by the victors into their own
houses or dwellings. This was the offence which Achan committed when
he hid in his tent part of the spoils of Jericho; and in consequence
Jehovah ceased to be with the children of Israel when they went up
against Ai, that is ceased to be in them, and they could not stand
before the enemy. Achan and his family were stoned and his property
destroyed by fire and the impurity was removed. For the same reason the
ancient Gauls and Germans destroyed all the spoils of war or burned
them, or buried them in lakes where they are still found. At a later
stage the Romans, instead of destroying the spoils of war, dedicated
them to their own gods, perhaps as a visible sign of the conquest and
subjection of the enemy's gods; and they were hung in temples or on
oak-trees, where they could not be touched except in the very direst
need, as when Rome was left without arms after Cannae. Subsequently
the spoils were permitted to decorate the houses of the victorious
generals, where they remained sacred and inviolable heirlooms. [239]

95. Caste and Hinduism.

In _The Religions of India_ M. Barth defined a Hindu as a man
who has a caste: 'The man who is a member of a caste is a Hindu;
he who is not, is not a Hindu.' His definition remains perhaps the
best. There is practically no dogma which is essential to Hinduism,
nor is the veneration of any deity or sacred object either necessary
or heretical. As has often been pointed out, there is no assembly more
catholic or less exclusive than the Hindu pantheon. Another writer
has said that the three essentials of a Hindu are to be a member
of a caste, to venerate Brahmans, and to hold the cow sacred. Of
the latter two, the veneration of Brahmans cannot be considered
indispensable; for there are several sects, as the Lingayats, the
Bishnois, the Manbhaos, the Kabirpanthis and others, who expressly
disclaim any veneration for Brahmans, and, in theory at least, make
no use of their services; and yet the members of these sects are
by common consent acknowledged as Hindus. The sanctity of the bull
and cow is a more nearly universal dogma, and extends practically
to all Hindus, except the impure castes. These latter should not
correctly be classed as Hindus; the very origin of their status is,
as has been seen, the belief that they are the worshippers of gods
hostile to Hinduism. But still they must now practically be accounted
as Hindus. They worship the Hindu gods, standing at a distance when
they are not allowed to enter the temples, perform their ceremonies
by Hindu rites, and employ Brahmans for fixing auspicious days,
writing the marriage invitation and other business, which the Brahman
is willing to do for a consideration, so long as he does not have to
enter their houses. Some of the impure castes eat beef, while others
have abandoned it in order to improve their social position. At the
other end of the scale are many well-educated Hindu gentlemen who
have no objection to eat beef and may often have done so in England,
though in India they may abstain out of deference to the prejudices
of their relatives, especially the women. And Hindus of all castes
are beginning to sell worn-out cattle to the butchers for slaughter
without scruple--an offence which fifty years ago would have entailed
permanent expulsion from caste. The reverence for the cow is thus not
an absolutely essential dogma of Hinduism, though it is the nearest
approach to one. As a definition or test of Hinduism it is, however,
obviously inadequate. Caste, on the other hand, regulates the whole of
a Hindu's life, his social position and, usually, his occupation. It
is the only tribunal which punishes religious and social offences,
and when a man is out of caste he has, for so long as this condition
continues, no place in Hinduism. Theoretically he cannot eat with any
other Hindu nor marry his child to any Hindu. If he dies out of caste
the caste-men will not bury or burn his body, which is regarded as
impure. The binding tie of caste is, according to the argument given
above, the communal meal or feast of grain cooked with water, and this,
it would therefore seem, may correctly be termed the chief religious
function of Hinduism. Caste also obtains among the Jains and Sikhs,
but Sikhism is really little more than a Hindu sect, while the Jains,
who are nearly all Banias, scarcely differ from Vaishnava Hindu Banias,
and have accepted caste, though it is not in accordance with the real
tenets of their religion. The lower industrial classes of Muhammadans
have also formed castes in imitation of the Hindus. Many of these
are however the descendants of converted Hindus, and nearly all of
them have a number of Hindu practices.

96. The Hindu reformers.

There have not been wanting reformers in Hinduism, and the ultimate
object of their preaching seems to have been the abolition of the
caste system. The totem-clans, perhaps, supposed that each species
of animals and plants which they distinguished had a different
kind of life, the qualities of each species being considered as
part of its life. This belief may have been the original basis of
the idea of difference of blood arising from nobility of lineage
or descent, and it may also have been that from which the theory of
caste distinctions was derived. Though the sacrificial food of each
caste is the same, yet its members may have held themselves to be
partaking of a different sacrificial feast and absorbing a different
life; just as the sacrificial feasts and the gods of the different
Greek and Latin city-states were held to be distinct and hostile,
and a citizen of one state could not join in the sacrificial feast
of another, though the gods and sacrificial animals might be as a
matter of fact the same. And the earth-goddess of each village was a
separate form or part of the goddess, so that her land should only be
tilled by the descendants of the cultivators who were in communion
with her. The severe caste penalties attached to getting vermin in
a wound, involving a long period of complete ostracism and the most
elaborate ceremonies of purification, may perhaps be explained by the
idea that the man so afflicted has in his body an alien and hostile
life which is incompatible with his forming part of the common life
of the caste or subcaste. The leading feature of the doctrines of
the Hindu reformers has been that there is only one kind of life,
which extends through the whole of creation and is all equally
precious. Everything that lives has a spark of the divine life and
hence should not be destroyed. The belief did not extend to vegetable
life, perhaps because the true nature of the latter was by then
partly realised, while if the consumption of vegetable life had been
prohibited the sect could not have existed. The above doctrine will
be recognised as a comparatively simple and natural expansion of the
beliefs that animals have self-conscious volitional life and that each
species of animals consists of one common life distributed through its
members. If the true nature of individual animals and plants had been
recognised from the beginning, it is difficult to see how the idea of
one universal life running through them all could have been conceived
and have obtained so large a degree of acceptance. As the effect of
such a doctrine was that all men were of the same blood and life,
its necessary consequence was the negation of caste distinctions. The
transmigration of souls followed as a moral rule apportioning reward
and punishment for the actions of men. The soul passed through a cycle
of lives, and the location or body of its next life, whether an animal
of varying importance or meanness, or a human being in different
classes of society, was determined by its good or evil actions in
previous lives. Finally, those souls which had been purified of all
the gross qualities appertaining to the body were released from the
cycle of existence and reabsorbed into the divine centre or focus of
life. In the case of the Buddhists and Jains the divine centre of life
seems to have been conceived of impersonally. The leading authorities
on Buddhism state that its founder's doctrine was pure atheism, but one
may suggest that the view seems somewhat improbable in the case of a
religion promulgated at so early a period. And on such a hypothesis it
is difficult to understand either the stress laid on the escape from
life as the highest aim or the sanctity held to attach to all kinds
of animal life. But these doctrines follow naturally on the belief
in a divine centre or focus of life from which all life emanates
for a time, to be ultimately reabsorbed. The Vaishnava reformers,
who arose subsequently, took the sun or the spirit of the sun as the
divine source of all life. They also preached the sanctity of animal
life, the transmigration of souls, and the final absorption of the
purified soul into the divine centre of life. The abolition of caste
was generally a leading feature of their doctrine and may have been
its principal social aim. The survival of the individual soul was not
a tenet of the earlier reformers, though the later ones adopted it,
perhaps in response to the growing perception of individuality. But
even now it is doubtful how far the separate existence of the
individual soul after it has finally left the world is a religious
dogma of the Hindus. The basis of Hindu asceticism is the necessity
of completely freeing the soul or spirit from all the appetites and
passions of the body before it can be reabsorbed into the god. Those
who have so mortified the body that the life merely subsists in it,
almost unwillingly as it were, and absolutely unaffected by human
desires or affections or worldly events, have rendered their individual
spark of life capable of being at once absorbed into the divine life
and equal in merit to it, while still on earth. Thus Hindu ascetics
in the last or perfect stage say, 'I am God,' or 'I am Siva,' and are
revered by their disciples and the people as divine. Both the Buddhists
and Jains lay the same stress on the value of asceticism as enabling
the soul to attain perfection through complete detachment from the
appetites and passions of the body and the cares of the world; and
the deduction therefore seems warranted that the end of the perfect
soul would be a similar reabsorption in the divine soul.

97. Decline of the caste system.

The caste system has maintained its vigour unimpaired either by
the political vicissitudes and foreign invasions of India or by
Muhammadan persecution. Except where it has been affected by European
education and inventions, Hindu society preserved until recently
a remarkably close resemblance to that of ancient Greece and Rome
in the classical period. But several signs point to the conclusion
that the decay of caste as the governing factor of Indian society is
in sight. The freedom in selection of occupation which now obtains
appears to strike at the root of the caste system, because the relative
social status and gradation of castes is based on their traditional
occupations. When in a large number of the principal castes the
majority of the members have abandoned their traditional occupation
and taken freely to others, the relative status of castes becomes a
fiction, which, though it has hitherto subsisted, cannot apparently be
indefinitely maintained. The great extension of education undertaken by
Government and warmly advocated by the best Indian opinion exercises
an analogous influence. Education is free to all, and, similarly,
in the careers which it opens to the most successful boys there is
no account of caste. Thus members of quite low castes obtain a good
social position and, as regards them personally, the prejudices and
contempt for their caste necessarily fall into abeyance. The process
must, probably, in time extend to general social toleration. The
educated classes are also coming to regard the restrictions on food
and drink, and on eating and drinking with others, as an irksome and
unnecessary bar to social intercourse, and are gradually abandoning
them. This tendency is greatly strengthened by the example and social
contact of Europeans. Finally, the facilities for travelling and the
democratic nature of modern travel have a very powerful effect. The
great majority of Hindus of all castes are obliged by their comparative
poverty to avail themselves of the cheap third-class fares, and have
to rub shoulders together in packed railway carriages. Soon they
begin to realise that this does them no harm, and get accustomed
to it, with the result that the prejudices about bodily contact
tend to disappear. The opinion has been given that the decline of
social exclusiveness in England was largely due to the introduction
of railway travelling. Taking account of all these influences, and
assuming their continuance, the inference may safely be drawn that
the life of the Indian caste system is limited, though no attempt
can be made to estimate the degree of its vitality, nor to predict
the form and constitution of the society which will arise on its decay.


Arya Samaj

[_Bibliography_: Sir E.D. Maclagan's _Punjab Census Report of 1891_;
Mr. R. Burn's _United Provinces Census Report of 1901_; Professor
J. C. Oman's _Cults, Customs and Superstitions of India_.]

List of Paragraphs

    1. _The founder of the sect, Dayanand Saraswati_.
    2. _His methods and the scientific interpretation of the Vedas_.
    3. _Tenets of the Samaj_.
    4. _Modernising tendencies_.
    5. _Aims and educational institutions_.
    6. _Prospects of the sect_.

1. The founder of the sect, Dayanand Saraswati.

_Arya Samaj Religion_.--This important reforming sect of Hinduism
numbered nearly 250,000 persons in India in 1911, as against 92,000 in
1901. Its adherents belong principally to the Punjab and the United
Provinces. In the Central Provinces 974 members were returned. The
sect was founded by Pandit Dayanand Saraswati, a Gujarati Brahman,
born in 1824. According to his own narrative he had been carefully
instructed in the Vedas, which means that he had been made to commit a
great portion of them to memory, and had been initiated at an early
age into the Saiva sect to which his family belonged; but while
still a mere boy his mind had revolted against the practices of
idolatry. He could not bring himself to acknowledge that the image
of Siva seated on his bull, the helpless idol, which, as he himself
observed in the watches of the night, allowed the mice to run over it
with impunity, ought to be worshipped as the omnipotent deity. [240]
He also conceived an intense aversion to marriage, and fled from home
in order to avoid the match which had been arranged for him. He was
attracted by the practice of Yoga, or ascetic philosophy, and studied
it with great ardour, claiming to have been initiated into the highest
secrets of _Yoga Vidya_. He tells in one of his books of his many
and extensive travels, his profound researches in Sanskritic lore,
his constant meditations and his ceaseless inquirings. He tells how,
by dissecting in his own rough way a corpse which he found floating
on a river, he finally discerned the egregious errors of the Hindu
medical treatises, and, tearing up his books in disgust, flung
them into the river with the mutilated corpse. By degrees he found
reason to reject the authority of all the sacred books of the Hindus
subsequent to the Vedas. Once convinced of this, he braced himself
to a wonderful course of missionary effort, in which he formulated
his new system and attacked the existing orthodox Hinduism. [241]
He maintained that the Vedas gave no countenance to idolatry, but
inculcated monotheism, and that their contents could be reconciled
with all the results of modern science, which indeed he held to be
indicated in them. The Arya Samaj was founded in Lahore in 1877,
and during the remainder of his life Dayanand travelled over northern
India continually preaching and disputing with the advocates of other
religions, and founding branches of his sect. In 1883 he died at Ajmer,
according to the story of his followers, from the effects of poison
administered to him at the instigation of a prostitute against whose
profession he had been lecturing. [242]

2. His methods and the scientific interpretation of the Vedas.

Dayanand's attempt to found a sect which, while not going entirely
outside Hinduism, should prove acceptable to educated Hindus desiring
a purer faith, appears to have been distinctly successful. The leaders
of the Brahmo Samaj were men of higher intelligence and ability than
he, and after scrupulously fair and impartial inquiry were led to
deny the infallibility of the Vedas, while they also declined to
recognise caste. But by so doing they rendered it impossible for a
man to become a Brahmo and remain a Hindu, and their movement has
made little headway. By retaining the tenet of the divine authority
of the Vedas, Dayanand made it possible for educated Hindus to join
his sect without absolutely cutting themselves adrift from their old
faith. But Dayanand's contention that the Vedas should be figuratively
interpreted, and are so found to foreshadow the discoveries of modern
science, will naturally not bear examination. The following instances
of the method are given by Professor Oman: "At one of the anniversary
meetings of the society a member gravely stated that the Vedas
mentioned _pure_ fire, and as pure fire was nothing but electricity,
it was evident that the Indians of the Vedic period were acquainted
with electricity. A leading member of the sect, who had studied
science in the Government college, discovered in two Vedic texts,
made up of _only eighteen words in all_, that oxygen and hydrogen
with their characteristic properties were known to the writers of the
Rig Veda, who were also acquainted with the composition of water,
the constitution of the atmosphere, and had anticipated the modern
kinetic theory of gases." [243] Mr. Burn gives the following parallel
versions of a verse of the Rig Veda by Professor Max Mueller and the
late Pandit Guru Datt, M.A., of the Arya Samaj:

_Professor Max Mueller_.--"May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Ayu, Indra,
the Lord of the Ribhus, and the Maruts not rebuke us because we shall
proclaim at the sacrifice the virtues of the swift horse sprung from
the Gods."

_Pandit Guru Datt_.--"We shall describe the power-generating virtues of
the energetic horses endowed with brilliant properties (or the virtues
of the vigorous force of heat) which learned or scientific men can
evoke to work for purposes of appliances. Let not philanthropists,
noble men, judges, learned men, rulers, wise men and practical
mechanics ever disregard these properties." In fact, the learned
Pandit has interpreted horse as horse-power.

3. Tenets of the Samaj.

Nevertheless the Arya Samaj does furnish a haven for educated Hindus
who can no longer credit Hindu mythology, but do not wish entirely
to break away from their religion; a step which, involving also the
abandonment of caste, would in their case mean the cessation to a
considerable extent of social and family intercourse. The present
tenets and position of the Arya Samaj as given to Professor Oman
by Lala Lajpat Rai [244] indicate that, while tending towards the
complete removal of the over-swollen body of Hindu ritual and the
obstacles to social progress involved in the narrow restrictions of
the caste system, the sect at present permits a compromise and does
not require of its proselytes a full abjuration. In theory members
of any religion may be admitted to the Samaj, and a few Muhammadans
have been initiated, but unless they renounce Islam do not usually
participate in social intercourse. Sikhs are freely admitted, and
converts from any religion who accept the purified Hinduism of the
Samaj are welcome. Such converts go through a simple ceremony of
purification, for which a Brahman is usually engaged, though not
required by rule. Those who, as Hindus, wore the sacred thread are
again invested with it, and it has also been conferred on converts,
but this has excited opposition. A few marriages between members of
different subcastes have been carried out, and in the case of orphan
girls adopted into the Samaj caste, rules have been set aside and they
have been married to members of other castes. Lavish expenditure on
weddings is discouraged. Vishnu and Siva are accepted as alternative
names of the one God; but their reputed consorts Kali, Durga, Devi,
and so on, are not regarded as deities. Brahmans are usually employed
for ceremonies, but these may also, especially birth and funeral
ceremonies, be performed by non-Brahmans. In the Punjab members of
the Samaj of different castes will take food together, but rarely
in the United Provinces. Dissension has arisen on the question of
the consumption of flesh, and the Samaj is split into two parties,
vegetarians and meat-eaters. In the United Provinces, Mr. Burn states,
the vegetarian party would not object to employ men of low caste as
cooks, excepting such impure castes as Chamars, Doms and sweepers,
so long as they were also vegetarians. The Aryas still hold the
doctrine of the transmigration of souls and venerate the cow, but
they do not regard the cow as divine. In this respect their position
has been somewhat modified from that of Dayanand, who was a vigorous
supporter of the Gaoraksha or cow-protection movement.

4. Modernising tendencies.

Again Dayanand enunciated a very peculiar doctrine on Niyoga or the
custom of childless women, either married or widows, resorting to men
other than their husbands for obtaining an heir. This is permitted
under certain circumstances by the Hindu lawbooks. Dayanand laid down
that a Hindu widow might resort in succession to five men until she
had borne each of them two children, and a married woman might do
the same with the consent of her husband, or without his consent if
he had been absent from home for a certain number of years, varying
according to the purpose for which he was absent. [245] Dayanand held
that this rule would have beneficial results. Those who could restrain
their impulses would still be considered as following the best way;
but for the majority who could not do so, the authorised method
and degree of intimacy laid down by him would prevent such evils as
prostitution, connubial unfaithfulness, and the secret _liaisons_
of widows, resulting in practices like abortion. The prevalence of
such a custom would, however, certainly do more to injure social
and family life than all the evils which it was designed to prevent,
and it is not surprising to find that the Samaj does not now consider
Niyoga an essential doctrine; instead of this they are trying in face
of much opposition to introduce the natural and proper custom of the
remarriage of widows. The principal rite of the Samaj is the old Hom
sacrifice of burning clarified butter, grain, and various fragrant
gums and spices on the sacred fire, with the repetition of Sanskrit
texts. They now explain this by saying that it is a sanitary measure,
designed to purify the air.

The Samaj does not believe in any literal heaven and hell, but
considers these as figurative expressions of the state of the soul,
whether in this life or the life to come. The Aryas therefore do not
perform the _shradhh_ ceremony nor offer oblations to the dead, and
in abolishing these they reduce enormously the power and influence
of the priesthood.

5. Aims and educational institutions.

The above account indicates that the Arya Samaj is tending to become
a vaguely theistic sect. Its religious observances will probably
fall more and more into the background, and its members will aspire
to observe in their conduct the code of social morality obtaining in
Europe, and to regulate their habit of life by similar considerations
of comfort and convenience. Already the principal aims of the
Samaj tend mainly to the social improvement of its members and their
fellow-Indians. It sets its face against child-marriage, and encourages
the remarriage of widows. It busies itself with female education,
with orphanages and schools, dispensaries and public libraries, and
philanthropic institutions of all sorts. [246] Its avowed aim is to
unite and regenerate the peoples of Aryavarrta or India.

As one of its own poets has said: [247]

    Ah! long have ye slept, Sons of India, too long!
    Your country degenerate, your morals all wrong.

Its principal educational institutions are the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic
College at Lahore and the Anglo-Vedic School at Meerut, a large
orphanage at Bareilly, smaller ones at Allahabad and Cawnpore, and a
number of primary schools. It employs a body of travelling teachers
or Upadeshaks to make converts, and in the famine of 1900 took charge
of as many famine orphans as the Local Governments would entrust
to it, in order to prevent them from being handed over to Christian
missionaries. All members of the Samaj are expected to contribute one
per cent of their incomes to the society, and a large number of them
do this. The Arya Samaj has been accused of cherishing political aims
and of anti-British propaganda, but the writers quoted in this article
unite in acquitting it of such a charge as an institution, though some
of its members have been more or less identified with the Extremist
party. From the beginning, however, and apparently up to the present
time, its religious teaching has been directed to social and not to
political reform, and so long as it adheres to this course its work
must be considered to be useful and praiseworthy. Nevertheless some
danger may perhaps exist lest the boys educated in its institutions
may with youthful intemperance read into the instruction of their
teachers more than it is meant to convey, and divert exhortations
for social improvement and progress to political ends.

6. Prospects of the sect.

The census of 1911 showed the Arya Samaj to be in a flourishing
and progressive condition. There seems good reason to suppose that
its success may continue, as it meets a distinct religious and
social requirement of educated Hindus. Narsinghpur is the principal
centre of the sect in the Central Provinces, and here an orphanage is
maintained with about thirty inmates; the local members have an _ata_
fund, to which they daily contribute a handful of flour, and this
accumulates and is periodically made over to the orphanage. There is
also a Vedic school at Narsinghpur, and a Sanskrit school has been
started at Drug. [248]

Brahmo Samaj

[_Bibliography:_ Professor J. C. Oman's _Brahmans, Theists and Muslims
of India_ (1907); _Cults, Customs and Superstitions of India_ (1908);
Rev. F. Lillingston's _Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj_ (1901). The
following brief account is simply compiled from the above works and
makes no pretence to be critical.]

List of Paragraphs

    1. _Ram Mohan Roy, founder of the sect_.
    2. _Much esteemed by the English_.
    3. _Foundation of the Brahmo Samaj_.
    4. _Debendra Nath Tagore_.
    5. _Keshub Chandar Sen_.
    6. _The Civil Marriage Act_.
    7. _Keshub Chandar's relapse into mysticism_.
    8. _Recent history of the Samaj_.
    9. _Character of the movement_.

1. Ram Mohan Roy, founder of the sect.

_Brahmo Samaj Religion_.--This monotheistic sect of Bengal numbered
only thirty-two adherents in the Central Provinces in 1911, of whom
all or nearly all were probably Bengalis. Nevertheless its history
is of great interest as representing an attempt at the reform and
purification of Hinduism under the influence of Christianity. The
founder of the sect, Ram Mohan Roy, a Brahman, was born in 1772
and died in England in 1833. He was sent to school at Patna, where
under the influence of Muhammadan teachers he learnt to despise
the extravagant stories of the Puranas. At the age of sixteen he
composed a tract against idolatry, which stirred up such a feeling of
animosity against him that he had to leave his home. He betook himself
first to Benares, where he received instruction in the Vedas from the
Brahmans. From there he went to Tibet, that he might learn the tenets
of Buddhism from its adherents rather than its opponents; his genuine
desire to form a fair judgment of the merits of every creed being
further evidenced by his learning the language in which each of these
finds its expression: thus he learnt Sanskrit that he might rightly
understand the Vedas, Pali that he might read the Buddhist Tripitaka,
Arabic as the key to the Koran, and Hebrew and Greek for the Old and
New Testaments. [249] In 1819, after a diligent study of the Bible,
he published a book entitled _The Precepts of Jesus, the Guide to
Peace and Happiness._ Although this work was eminently appreciative of
the character and teaching of Christ, it gave rise to an attack from
the missionaries of Serampore. Strange to say, Ram Mohan Roy so far
converted his tutor Mr. Adam (himself a missionary) to his own way
of thinking that that gentleman relinquished his spiritual office,
became editor of the _Indian Gazette,_ and was generally known in
Calcutta as 'The second fallen Adam.' [250]

2. Much esteemed by the English.

Ram Mohan Roy was held in great esteem by his English contemporaries
in India. He dispensed in charities the bulk of his private means,
living himself with the strictest economy in order that he might have
the more to give away. It was to a considerable extent due to his
efforts, and more especially to his demonstration that the practice
of Sati found no sanction in the Vedas, that this abominable rite was
declared illegal by Lord William Bentinck in 1829. The titular emperor
of Delhi conferred the title of Raja upon him in 1830 and induced
him to proceed to England on a mission to the Home Government. He
was the first Brahman who had crossed the sea, and his distinguished
appearance, agreeable manners, and undoubtedly great ability, coupled
with his sympathy for Christianity, procured him a warm welcome in
England, where he died in 1833. [251]

3. Foundation of the Brahmo Samaj.

Ram Mohan Roy, with the help of a few friends and disciples, founded,
in 1830, the Brahmo Samaj or Society of God. In the trust deed of
the meeting-house it was laid down that the society was founded for
"the worship and adoration of the eternal, unsearchable and immutable
Being who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe, but not by
any other name, designation or title peculiarly used by any men or
set of men; and that in conducting the said worship and adoration, no
object, animate or inanimate, that has been or is or shall hereafter
become ... an object of worship by any men or set of men, shall be
reviled or slightingly or contemptuously spoken of or alluded to
either in preaching, or in the hymns or other mode of worship that
may be delivered or used in the said messuage or building." [252]
This well exemplifies the broad toleration and liberality of the
sect. The service in the new theistic church consisted in the recital
of the Vedas by two Telugu Brahmans, the reading of texts from the
Upanishads, and the expounding of the same in Bengali. The Samaj, thus
constituted, based its teaching on the Vedas and was at this time,
though unorthodox, still a Hindu sect, and made no attempt at the
abolition of caste. "Indeed, in establishing this sect, Ram Mohan Roy
professed to be leading his countrymen back to the pure, uncorrupted,
monotheistic religion of their Vedic ancestors; but his monotheism,
based, as it was, essentially upon the Vedanta philosophy, was in
reality but a disguised Pantheism, enriched as regards its ethics by
ideas derived from Muslim and Christian literature and theology." [253]

4. Debendra Nath Tagore.

After the death of its founder the sect languished for a period of ten
years until it was taken in hand by Debendra Nath Tagore, whose father
Dwarka Nath had been a friend and warm admirer of Ram Mohan Roy, and
had practically maintained the society by paying its expenses during
the interval. In 1843 Debendra drew up a form of initiation which
involved the renunciation of idolatry. He established branches of
the Brahmo Samaj in many towns and villages of Bengal, and in 1845 he
sent four Pandits to Benares to copy out and make a special study of
the Vedas. On their return to Calcutta after two years Debendra Nath
devoted himself with their aid to a diligent and critical study of the
sacred books, and eventually, after much controversy and even danger
of disruption, the Samaj, under his guidance, came to the important
decision that the teaching of the Vedas could not be reconciled with
the conclusions of modern science or with the religious convictions
of the Brahmos, a result which soon led to an open and public denial
of the infallibility of the Vedas.

"There is nothing," Professor Oman remarks, "in the Brahmic movement
more creditable to the parties concerned than this honest and
careful inquiry into the nature of the doctrines and precepts of the
Vedas." [254]

5. Keshub Chandar Sen.

The tenets of the Brahmo Samaj consisted at this time of a pure theism,
without special reliance on the Hindu sacred books or recognition of
such Hindu doctrines as the transmigration of souls. But in their
ordinary lives its members still conformed generally to the caste
practices and religious usages of their neighbours. But a progressive
party now arose under the leadership of Keshub Chandar Sen, a young man
of the Vaidya caste, which desired to break altogether with Hinduism,
abolish the use of sect marks and the prohibition of intermarriage
between castes, and to welcome into the community converts from all
religions. Meanwhile Debendra Nath Tagore had spent three years in
seclusion in the Himalayas, occupied with meditation and prayer; on
his return he acceded so far to the views of Keshub Chandar Sen as to
celebrate the marriage of his daughter according to a reformed theistic
ritual; but when his friend pressed for the complete abolition of all
caste restrictions, Debendra Nath refused his consent and retired once
more to the hills. [255] The result was a schism in the community,
and in 1866 the progressive party seceded and set up a Samaj of
their own, calling themselves the Brahmo Samaj of India, while the
conservative group under Debendra Nath Tagore was named the Adi or
original Samaj. In 1905 the latter was estimated to number only about
300 persons. [256]

Keshub Chandar Sen had been educated in the Presidency College,
Calcutta, and being more familiar with English and the Bible than
with the Sanskrit language and Vedic literature, he was filled with
deep enthusiastic admiration of the beauty of Christ's character
and teaching. [257] He had shown a strong passion for the stage and
loved nothing better than the plays of Shakespeare. He was fond of
performing himself, and especially delighted in appearing in the
role of a magician or conjurer before his family and friends. The
new sect took up the position that all religions were true and
worthy of veneration. At the inaugural meeting, texts from the
sacred scriptures of the Christians, Hindus, Muhammadans, Parsis
and Chinese were publicly read, in order to mark and to proclaim to
the world the catholicity of spirit in which it was formed. [258]
Keshub by his writings and public lectures kept himself prominently
before the Indian world, enlisting the sympathies of the Viceroy
(Sir John Lawrence) by his tendencies towards Christianity.

6. The Civil Marriage Act.

By this time several marriages had been performed according to the
revised ritual of the Brahmic Church, which had given great offence
to orthodox Hindus and exposed the participators in these novel rites
to much obloquy. The legality of marriages thus contracted had even
been questioned. To avoid this difficulty Keshub induced Government
in 1872 to pass the Native Marriage Act, introducing for the first
time the institution of civil marriage into Hindu society. The Act
prescribed a form of marriage to be celebrated before the Registrar
for persons who did not profess either the Hindu, the Muhammadan,
the Parsi, the Sikh, the Jaina or the Buddhist religion, and who
were neither Christians nor Jews; and fixed the minimum age for a
bridegroom at eighteen and for a bride at fourteen. Only six years
later, however, Keshub Chandar Sen committed the fatal mistake of
ignoring the law which he had himself been instrumental in passing:
he permitted the marriage of his daughter, below the age of fourteen,
to the young Maharaja of Kuch Bihar, who was not then sixteen years
of age. [259] This event led to a public censure of Keshub Chandar
Sen by his community and the secession of a section of the members,
who formed the Sadharan or Universal Brahmo Samaj. The creed of this
body consisted in the belief in an infinite Creator, the immortality of
the soul, the duty and necessity of the spiritual worship of God, and
disbelief in any infallible book or man as a means of salvation. [260]

7. Keshub Chandar's relapse into mysticism.

From about this period, or a little before, Keshub Chandar Sen appears
to have attempted to make a wider appeal to Indians by developing the
emotional side of his religion. And he gradually relapsed from a pure
unitarian theism into what was practically Hindu pantheism and the
mysticism of the Yogis. At the same time he came to consider himself
an inspired prophet, and proclaimed himself as such. The following
instances of his extravagant conduct are given by Professor Oman. [261]

"In 1873 he brought forward the doctrine of Adesh or special
inspiration, declaring emphatically that inspiration is not only
possible, but a veritable fact in the lives of many devout souls
in this age. The following years witnessed a marked development of
that essentially Asiatic and perhaps more especially Indian form of
religious feeling, which finds its natural satisfaction in solitary
ecstatic contemplation. As a necessary consequence an order of devotees
was established in 1876, divided into three main classes, which in
ascending gradation were designated Shabaks, Bhaktas and Yogis. The
lowest class, divided into two sections, is devoted to religious study
and the practical performance of religious duties, including doing good
to others. The aspiration of the Bhakta is ... 'Inebriation in God. He
is most passionately fond of God and delights in loving Him and all
that pertains to Him.... The very utterance of the divine name causes
his heart to overflow and brings tears of joy to his eyes.' As for the
highest order of devotees, the Yogis, 'They live in the spirit-world
and readily commune with spiritual realities. They welcome whatever is
a help to the entire subjugation of the soul, and are always employed
in conquering selfishness, carnality and worldliness. They are happy
in prayer and meditation and in the study of nature.'

"The new dispensation having come into the world to harmonise
conflicting creeds and regenerate mankind, must have its outward
symbol, its triumphal banner floating proudly on the joyful air
of highly-favoured India. A flag was therefore made and formally
consecrated as 'The Banner of the New Dispensation.' This emblem of
'Regenerated and saving theism' the new prophet himself formed with
a yak's tail and kissed with his own inspired lips. In orthodox Hindu
fashion his missionaries--apostles of the new Dispensation--went round
it with lights in their hands, while his less privileged followers
respectfully touched the sacred pole and humbly bowed down to it. In
a word, the banner was worshipped as Hindu idols are worshipped any
day in India. Carried away by a spirit of innovation, anxious to keep
himself prominently before the world, and realising no doubt that
since churches and sects do not flourish on intellectual pabulum only,
certain mystic rites and gorgeous ceremonials were necessary to the
success of the new Dispensation, Keshub introduced into his Church
various observances which attracted a good deal of attention and did
not escape criticism. On one occasion he went with his disciples
in procession, singing hymns, to a stagnant tank in Calcutta,
and made believe that they were in Palestine and on the side of
the Jordan. Standing near the tank Keshub said, 'Beloved brethren,
we have come into the land of the Jews, and we are seated on the
bank of the Jordan. Let them that have eyes see. Verily, verily,
here was the Lord Jesus baptised eighteen hundred years ago. Behold
the holy waters wherein was the Son of God immersed.' We learn also
that Keshub and his disciples attempted to hold communication with
saints and prophets of the olden time, upon whose works and teaching
they had been pondering in retirement and solitude. On this subject
the following notice appeared in the _Sunday Mirror_:

"'It is proposed to promote communion with departed saints among
the more advanced Brahmos. With a view to achieve this object
successfully ancient prophets and saints will be taken one after
another on special occasions and made the subject of close study,
meditation and prayer. Particular places will also be assigned to
which the devotees will resort as pilgrims. There for hours together
they will try to draw inspiration from particular saints. We believe
a spiritual pilgrimage to Moses will be shortly undertaken. Only
earnest devotees ought to join.'"

8. Recent history of the Samaj.

Keshub Chandar Sen died in 1884, and the Brahmo Samaj seems
subsequently to have returned more or less to its first position of
pure theism coupled with Hindu social reform. His successor in the
leadership of the sect was Babu P.C. Mazumdar, who visited America
and created a favourable impression at the Parliament of Religions
at Chicago. Under his guidance the Samaj seems to have gradually
drifted towards American Unitarianism, and to have been supported in
no slight degree by funds from the United States of America. [262] He
died in 1905, and left no one of prominent character and attainments
to succeed to the leadership. In 1911 the adherents of the different
branches of the Samaj numbered at the census only 5500 persons.

9. Character of the movement.

The history of the Brahmo Samaj is of great interest, because it was
the first attempt at the reform and purification of Hinduism made under
the influence of Christianity, the long line of Vaishnavite reformers
who strove to abrogate Hindu polytheism and the deadening restrictions
of caste, having probably been inspired by the contemplation of
Islam. The Samaj is further distinguished by the admirable toleration
and broadness of view of its religious position, and by having had for
its leaders three men of exceptional character and attainments, two
of whom, and especially Keshub Chandar Sen, made a profound impression
in England among all classes of society. But the failure of the Samaj
to attract any large number of converts from among the Hindus was
only what might have been expected. For it requires its followers
practically to cut themselves adrift from family and caste ties and
offers nothing in return but an undefined theism, not calculated
to excite any enthusiasm or strong feeling in ordinary minds. Its
efforts at social reform have probably, however, been of substantial
value in weakening the rigidity of Hindu rules on caste and marriage.

Dadupanthi Sect. [263]

_Dadupanthi Sect._--One of the sects founded by Vaishnava reformers
of the school of Kabir; a few of its members are found in the
western Districts of the Central Provinces. Dadu was a Pinjara or
cotton-cleaner by caste. He was born at Ahmadabad in the sixteenth
century, and died at Narayana in the Jaipur State shortly after
A.D. 1600. He is said to have been the fifth successor in spiritual
inspiration from Kabir, or the sixth from Ramanand. Dadu preached
the unity of God and protested against the animistic abuses which
had grown up in Hinduism. "To this day," writes Mr. Coldstream,
"the Dadupanthis use the words Sat Ram, the True God, as a current
phrase expressive of their creed. Dadu forbade the worship of idols,
and did not build temples; now temples are built by his followers, who
say they worship in them the Dadubani or Sacred Book." This is what has
been done by other sects such as the Sikhs and Dhamis, whose founders
eschewed the veneration of idols; but their uneducated followers could
not dispense with some visible symbol for their adoration, and hence
the sacred script has been enthroned in a temple. The worship of the
Dadupanthis, Professor Wilson says, is addressed to Rama, but it is
restricted to the Japa or repetition of his name, and the Rama intended
is the deity negatively described in the Vedanta theology. The chief
place of worship of the sect is Narayana, where Dadu died. A small
building on a hill marks the place of his disappearance, and his bed
and the sacred books are kept there as objects of veneration.

Like other sects, the Dadupanthis are divided into celibate or
priestly and lay or householder branches. But they have also a third
offshoot, consisting in the Naga Gosains of Jaipur, nearly naked
ascetics, who constituted a valuable part of the troops of Jaipur
and other States. It is said that the Nagas always formed the van
of the army of Jaipur. The sect have white caps with four corners
and a flap hanging down at the back, which each follower has to make
for himself. To prevent the destruction of animal life entailed by
cremation, the tenets of the sect enjoin that corpses should be laid
in the forests to be devoured by birds and beasts. This rule, however,
is not observed, and their dead are burnt at early dawn.

Dhami, Prannathi Sect.

_Dhami, Prannathi Sect._--A small religious sect or order, having
its headquarters in the Panna State of Bundelkhand. A few members of
the sect are found in the Saugor and Damoh Districts of the Central
Provinces. The name Dhami is simply a derivative from _dham_, a
monastery, and in northern India they are called Prannathi after their
founder. They are also known as Sathi Bhai, brothers in religion,
or simply as Bhai or brothers. The sect takes its origin from one
Prannath, a Rajput who lived in the latter part of Aurangzeb's reign
towards the end of the seventeenth century. He is said to have acquired
great influence with Chatra Sal, Raja of Panna, by the discovery of a
diamond mine there, and on this account Panna was made the home of the
sect. Prannath was well acquainted with the sacred books of Islam, and,
like other Hindu reformers, he attempted to propagate a faith which
should combine the two religions. To this end he composed a work in
Gujarati called the Kulzam Sarup, in which texts from the Koran and
the Vedas are brought together and shown not to be incompatible. His
creed also proclaimed the abolition of the worship of idols, and
apparently of caste restrictions and the supremacy of Brahmans. As
a test of a disciple's assent to the real identity of the Hindu and
Muhammadan creeds, the ceremony of initiation consists in eating in
the society of the followers of both religions; but the amalgamation
appears to be carried no further, and members of the sect continue
to follow generally their own religious practices. Theoretically they
should worship no material objects except the Founder's Book of Faith,
which lies on a table covered with gold cloth in the principal temple
at Panna. But in fact they adore the boy Krishna as he was at Mathura,
and in some temples there are images of Radha and Krishna, while in
others the decorations are so arranged as to look like an idol from
a distance. All temples, however, contain a copy of the sacred book,
round which a lighted lamp is waved in the morning and evening. The
Dhamis now say also that their founder Prannath was an incarnation
of Krishna, and they observe the Janam-Ashtami or Krishna's birthday
as their principal festival. They wear the Radha Vallabhi _tilak_
or sect-mark, consisting of two white lines drawn down the forehead
from the roots of the hair, and curving to meet at the top of the nose,
with a small red dot between them. On the cheeks and temples they make
rosette-like marks by bunching up the five fingers, dipping them in
a solution of sandalwood and then applying them to the face. [264]
They regard the Jumna as a sacred river and its water as holy, no
doubt because Mathura is on its banks, but pay no reverence to the
Ganges. Their priests observe celibacy, but do not practise asceticism,
and all the Dhamis are strict vegetarians.

There is also a branch of the sect in Gujarat, where the founder
is known as Meheraj Thakur. He appears to have been identical with
Prannath, and instituted a local headquarters at Surat. [265] It is
related by Mr. Bhimbhai Kirparam that Meheraj Thakur was himself the
disciple of one Deo Chand, a native of Amarkot in Sind. The latter
was devoted to the study of the Bhagwat Puran, and came to Jamnagar in
Kathiawar, where he founded a temple to Radha and Krishna. As there is
a temple at Panna consecrated to Deo Chand as the Guru or preceptor
of Prannath, and as the book of the faith is written in Gujarati,
the above account would appear to be correct, and it follows that
the sect originated in the worship of Krishna, and was refined by
Prannath into a purer form of faith. A number of Cutchis in Surat
are adherents of the sect, and usually visit the temple at Panna on
the full-moon day of Kartik (October). Curiously enough the sect has
also found a home in Nepal, having been preached there, it is said,
by missionary Dhamis in the time of Raja Ram Bahadur Shah of Nepal,
about 150 years ago. Its members there are known as Pranami or Parnami,
a corruption of Prannathi and they often come to Panna to study the
sacred book. It is reported that there are usually about forty Nepalis
lodging in the premises of the great temple at Panna. [266]

Jain Religion

[_Bibliography: The Jainas_, by Dr. J.G. Buehler and J. Burgess,
London, 1903; _The Religions of India_, Professor E.W. Hopkins; _The
Religions of India_, Professor A. Barth; _Punjab Census Report_
(1891), Sir E.D. Maclagan; article on Jainism in Dr. Hastings'
_Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics_.]

List of Paragraphs

     1. _Numbers and distribution_.
     2. _The Jain religion. Its connection with Buddhism_.
     3. _The Jain tenets. The Tirthakars_.
     4. _The transmigration of souls_.
     5. _Strict rules against taking life_.
     6. _Jain sects_.
     7. _Jain ascetics_.
     8. _Jain subcastes of Banias_.
     9. _Rules and customs of the laity_.
    10. _Connection with Hinduism_.
    11. _Temples and car festival_.
    12. _Images of the Tirthakars_.
    13. _Religious observances_.
    14. _Tenderness for animal life_.
    15. _Social condition of the Jains_.

1. Numbers and distribution.

_Jain_.--The total number of Jains in the Central Provinces in 1911
was 71,000 persons. They nearly all belong to the Bania caste, and
are engaged in moneylending and trade like other Banias. They reside
principally in the Vindhyan Districts, Saugor, Damoh and Jubbulpore,
and in the principal towns of the Nagpur country and Berar.

2. The Jain religion. Its connection with Buddhism.

The Jain tenets present marked features of resemblance to Buddhism,
and it was for some time held that Jainism was merely a later offshoot
from that religion. The more generally accepted view now, however, is
that the Jina or prophet of the Jains was a real historical personage,
who lived in the sixth century B.C., being a contemporary of Gautama,
the Buddha. Vardhamana, as he was commonly called, is said to have
been the younger son of a small chieftain in the province of Videha or
Tirhut. Like Sakya-Muni the Buddha or enlightened, Vardhamana became
an ascetic, and after twelve years of a wandering life he appeared
as a prophet, proclaiming a modification of the doctrine of his own
teacher Parsva or Parasnath. From this time he was known as Mahavira,
the great hero, the same name which in its familiar form of Mahabir
is applied to the god Hanuman. The title of Jina or victorious,
from which the Jains take their name, was subsequently conferred
on him, his sect at its first institution being called Nirgrantha or
ascetic. There are very close resemblances in the traditions concerning
the lives of Vardhamana and Gautama or Buddha. Both were of royal
birth; the same names recur among their relatives and disciples;
and they lived and preached in the same part of the country, Bihar
and Tirhut. [267] Vardhamana is said to have died during Buddha's
lifetime, the date of the latter's death being about 480 B.C. [268]
Their doctrines also, with some important differences, present,
on the whole, a close resemblance. Like the Buddhists, the Jains
claim to have been patronised by the Maurya princes. While Asoka
was mainly instrumental in the propagation of Buddhism over India,
his grandfather Chandragupta is stated to have been a Jain, and his
grandson Sampadi also figures in Jain tradition. A district which is
a holy land for one is almost always a holy land for the other, and
their sacred places adjoin each other in Bihar, in the peninsula of
Gujarat, on Mount Abu in Rajputana and elsewhere. [269] The earliest
of the Jain books belongs to the sixth century A.D., the existence of
the Nirgrantha sect in Buddha's lifetime being proved by the Cingalese
books of the Buddhists, and by references to it in the inscriptions
of Asoka and others. [270] While then M. Barth's theory that Jainism
was simply a later sect of Buddhism has been discarded by subsequent
scholars, it seems likely that several of the details of Vardhamana's
life now recorded in the Jain books are not really authentic, but
were taken from that of Buddha with necessary alterations, when the
true facts about their own prophet had been irrevocably lost.

3. The Jain tenets. The Tirthakars.

Like the Buddhists, the Jains recognise no creator of the world,
and suppose it to have existed from eternity. Similarly, they had
originally no real god, but the Jina or victor, like the Buddha or
Enlightened One, was held to have been an ordinary mortal man, who
by his own power had attained to omniscience and freedom, and out of
pity for suffering mankind preached and declared the way of salvation
which he had found. [271] This doctrine, however, was too abstruse
for the people, and in both cases the prophet himself gradually
came to be deified. Further, in order perhaps to furnish objects of
worship less distinctively human and to whom a larger share of the
attributes of deity could be imputed, in both religions a succession
of mythical predecessors of the prophet was gradually brought into
existence. The Buddhists recognise twenty-five Buddhas or divine
prophets, who appeared at long epochs of time and taught the same
system one after another; and the Jains have twenty-four Tirthakars
or Tirthankars, who similarly taught their religion. Of these only
Vardhamana, its real founder, who was the twenty-fourth, and possibly
Parsva or Parasnath, the twenty-third and the founder's preceptor,
are or may be historical. The other twenty-two Tirthakars are purely
mythical. The first, Rishaba, was born more than 100 billion years ago,
as the son of a king of Ajodhya; he lived more than 8 million years,
and was 500 bow-lengths in height. He therefore is as superhuman
as any god, and his date takes us back almost to eternity. The
others succeeded each other at shorter intervals of time, and show
a progressive decline in stature and length of life. The images of
the Tirthakars are worshipped in the Jain temples like those of the
Buddhas in Buddhist temples. As with Buddhism also, the main feature
of Jain belief is the transmigration of souls, and each successive
incarnation depends on the sum of good and bad actions or _karman_
in the previous life. They hold also the primitive animistic doctrine
that souls exist not only in animals and plants but in stones, lumps
of earth, drops of water, fire and wind, and the human soul may pass
even into these if its sins condemn it to such a fate. [272]

4. The transmigration of souls.

The aim which Jainism, like Buddhism, sets before its disciples
is the escape from the endless round of successive existences,
known as Samsara, through the extinction of the _karman_ or sum of
actions. This is attained by complete subjection of the passions and
destruction of all desires and appetites of the body and mind, that
is, by the most rigid asceticism, as well as by observing all the
moral rules prescribed by the religion. It was the Jina or prophet
who showed this way of escape, and hence he is called Tirthakar or
'The Finder of the Ford,' through the ocean of existence. [273]
But Jainism differs from Buddhism in that it holds that the soul,
when finally emancipated, reaches a heaven and there continues for
ever a separate intellectual existence, and is not absorbed into
Nirvana or a state of blessed nothingness.

5. Strict rules against taking life.

The moral precepts of the Jains are of the same type as those of
Buddhism and Vaishnavite Hinduism, but of an excessive rigidity,
at any rate in the case of the Yatis or Jatis, the ascetics. They
promise not to hurt, not to speak untruths, to appropriate nothing to
themselves without permission, to preserve chastity and to practise
self-sacrifice. But these simple rules are extraordinarily expanded
on the part of the Jains. Thus, concerning the oath not to hurt,
on which the Jains lay most emphasis: it prohibits not only the
intentional killing or injuring of living beings, plants or the souls
existing in dead matter, but requires also the utmost carefulness in
the whole manner of life, and a watchfulness also over all movements
and functions of the body by which anything living might be hurt. It
demands, finally, strict watch over the heart and tongue, and the
avoidance of all thoughts and words which might lead to disputes
and quarrels, and thereby do harm. In like manner the rule of
sacrifice requires not only that the ascetic should have no houses or
possessions, but he must also acquire a complete unconcern towards
agreeable or disagreeable impressions, and destroy all feelings
of attachment to anything living or dead. [274] Similarly, death by
voluntary starvation is prescribed for those ascetics who have reached
the Kewalin or brightest stage of knowledge, as the means of entering
their heaven. Owing to the late date of the Jain scriptures, any or
all of its doctrines may have been adopted from Buddhism between
the commencement of the two religions and the time when they were
compiled. The Jains did not definitely abolish caste, and hence escaped
the persecution to which Buddhism was subjected during the period of
its decline from the fifth or sixth century A.D. On account of this
trouble many Buddhists became Jains, and hence a further fusion of
the doctrines of the rival sects may have ensued. The Digambara sect
of Jains agree with the Buddhists in holding that women cannot attain
Nirvana or heaven, while the Swetambara sect say that they can, and
also admit women as nuns into the ascetic order. The Jain scripture,
the Yogashastra, speaks of women as the lamps that burn on the road
that leads to the gates of hell.

6. Jain sects.

The Jains are divided into the above two principal sects, the
Digambara and the Swetambara. The Digambara are the more numerous
and the stricter sect. According to their tenets death by voluntary
starvation is necessary for ascetics who would attain heaven, though
of course the rule is not now observed. The name Digambara signifies
sky-clad, and Swetambara white-clad. Formerly the Digambara ascetics
went naked, and were the gymnosophists of the Greek writers, but now
they take off their clothes, if at all, only at meals. The theory
of the origin of the two sects is that Parasnath, the twenty-third
Tirthakar, wore clothes, while Mahavira the twenty-fourth did not,
and the two sects follow their respective examples. The Digambaras now
wear ochre-coloured cloth, and the Swetambaras white. The principal
difference at present is that the images in Digambara temples are naked
and bare, while those of the Swetambaras are clothed, presumably in
white, and also decorated with jewellery and ornaments. The Digambara
ascetics may not use vessels for cooking or holding their food, but
must take it in their hands from their disciples and eat it thus;
while the Swetambara ascetics may use vessels. The Digambara, however,
do not consider the straining-cloth, brush, and gauze before the
mouth essential to the character of an ascetic, while the Swetambara
insist on them. There is in the Central Provinces another small sect
called Channagri or Samaiya, and known elsewhere as Dhundia. These do
not put images in their temples at all, but only copies of the Jain
sacred books, and pay reverence to them. They will, however, worship
in regular Jain temples at places where there are none of their own.

7. Jain ascetics.

The initiation of a Yati or Jati, a Jain ascetic, is thus described:
It is frequent for Banias who have no children to vow that their
first-born shall be a Yati. Such a boy serves a novitiate with a _guru_
or preceptor, and performs for him domestic offices; and when he is
old enough and has made progress in his studies he is initiated. For
this purpose the novice is carried out of the tower with music and
rejoicing in procession, followed by a crowd of Sravakas or Jain
laymen, and taken underneath the banyan, or any other tree the juice of
which is milky. His hair is pulled out at the roots with five pulls;
camphor, musk, sandal, saffron and sugar are applied to the scalp;
and he is then placed before his _guru,_ stripped of his clothes and
with his hands joined. A text is whispered in his ear by the _guru_,
and he is invested with the clothes peculiar to Yatis; two cloths, a
blanket and a staff; a plate for his victuals and a cloth to tie them
up in; a piece of gauze to tie over his mouth to prevent the entry
of insects; a cloth through which to strain his drinking-water to
the same end; and a broom made of cotton threads or peacock feathers
to sweep the ground before him as he walks, so that his foot may not
crush any living thing. The duty of the Yati is to read and explain
the sacred books to the Sravakas morning and evening, such functions
being known as Sandhya. His food consists of all kinds of grain,
vegetables and fruit produced above the earth; but no roots such as
yams or onions. Milk and _ghi_ are permitted, but butter and honey
are prohibited. Some strict Yatis drink no water but what has been
first boiled, lest they should inadvertently destroy any insect,
it being less criminal to boil them than to destroy them in the
drinker's stomach. A Yati having renounced the world and all civil
duties can have no family, nor does he perform any office of mourning
or rejoicing. [275] A Yati was directed to travel about begging and
preaching for eight months in the year, and during the four rainy
months to reside in some village or town and observe a fast. The
rules of conduct to be observed by him were extremely strict, as has
already been seen. Those who observed them successfully were believed
to acquire miraculous powers. He who was a Siddh or victor, and had
overcome his Karma or the sum of his human actions and affections,
could read the thoughts of others and foretell the future. He who had
attained Kewalgyan, or the state of perfect knowledge which preceded
the emancipation of the soul and its absorption into paradise, was
a god on earth, and even the gods worshipped him. Wherever he went
all plants burst into flower and brought forth fruit, whether it was
their season or not. In his presence no animal bore enmity to another
or tried to kill it, but all animals lived peaceably together. This
was the state attained to by each Tirthakar during his last sojourn
on earth. The number of Jain ascetics seems now to be less than
formerly and they are not often met with, at least in the Central
Provinces. They do not usually perform the function of temple priest.

8. Jain subcastes of Banias.

Practically all the Jains in the Central Provinces are of the Bania
caste. There is a small subcaste of Jain Kalars, but these are
said to have gone back to Hinduism. [276] Of the Bania subcastes
who are Jains the principal are the Parwar, Golapurab, Oswal and
Saitwal. Saraogi, the name for a Jain layman, and Charnagar, a
sect of Jains, are also returned as subcastes of Jain Banias. Other
important subcastes of Banias, as the Agarwal and Maheshri, have a
Jain section. Nearly all Banias belong to the Digambara sect, but the
Oswal are Swetambaras. They are said to have been originally Rajputs
of Os or Osnagar in Rajputana, and while they were yet Rajputs a
Swetambara ascetic sucked the poison from the wound of an Oswal boy
whom a snake had bitten, and this induced the community to join the
Swetambara sect of the Jains. [277]

9. Rules and customs of the laity.

The Jain laity are known as Shrawak or Saraogi, learners. There
is comparatively little to distinguish them from their Hindu
brethren. Their principal tenet is to avoid the destruction of all
animal, including insect life, but the Hindu Banias are practically
all Vaishnavas, and observe almost the same tenderness for animal life
as the Jains. The Jains are distinguished by their separate temples
and method of worship, and they do not recognise the authority of
the Vedas nor revere the _lingam_ of Siva. Consequently they do not
use the Hindu sacred texts at their weddings, but repeat some verses
from their own scriptures. These weddings are said to be more in the
nature of a civil contract than of a religious ceremony. The bride and
bridegroom walk seven times round the sacred post and are then seated
on a platform and promise to observe certain rules of conduct towards
each other and avoid offences. It is said that formerly a Jain bride
was locked up in a temple for the first night and considered to be
the bride of the god. But as scandals arose from this custom, she is
now only locked up for a minute or two and then let out again. Jain
boys are invested with the sacred thread on the occasion of their
weddings or at twenty-one or twenty-two if they are still unmarried
at that age. The thread is renewed annually on the day before the
full moon of Bhadon (August), after a ten days' fast in honour of
Anant Nath Tirthakar. The thread is made by the Jain priests of
tree cotton and has three knots. At their funerals the Jains do not
shave the moustaches off as a rule, and they never shave the _choti_
or scalp-lock, which they wear like Hindus. They give a feast to the
caste-fellows and distribute money in charity, but do not perform the
Hindu _shraddh_ or offering of sacrificial cakes to the dead. The
Agarwal and Khandelwal Jains, however, invoke the spirits of their
ancestors at weddings. Traces of an old hostility between Jains and
Hindus survive in the Hindu saying that one should not take refuge in a
Jain temple, even to escape from a mad elephant; and in the rule that
a Jain beggar will not take alms from a Hindu unless he can perform
some service in return, though it may not equal the value of the alms.

10. Connection with Hinduism.

In other respects the Jains closely resemble the Hindus. Brahmans
are often employed at their weddings, they reverence the cow,
worship sometimes in Hindu temples, go on pilgrimages to the Hindu
sacred places, and follow the Hindu law of inheritance. The Agarwal
Bania Jains and Hindus will take food cooked with water together and
intermarry in Bundelkhand, although it is doubtful whether they do
this in the Central Provinces. In such a case each party pays a fine
to the Jain temple fund. In respect of caste distinctions the Jains
are now scarcely less strict than the Hindus. The different Jain
subcastes of Banias coming from Bundelkhand will take food together
as a rule, and those from Marwar will do the same. The Khandelwal
and Oswal Jain Banias will take food cooked with water together when
it has been cooked by an old woman past the age of child-bearing,
but not that cooked by a young woman. The spread of education has
awakened an increased interest among the Jains in their scriptures
and the tenets of their religion, and it is quite likely that the
tendency to conform to Hinduism in caste matters and ceremonies may
receive a check on this account. [278]

11. Temple and car festival.

The Jains display great zeal in the construction of temples in which
the images of the Tirthakars are enshrined. The temples are commonly of
the same fashion as those of the Hindus, with a short, roughly conical
spire tapering to a point at the apex, but they are frequently adorned
with rich carved stone and woodwork. There are fine collections of
temples at Muktagiri in Betul, Kundalpur in Damoh, and at Mount Abu,
Girnar, the hill of Parasnath in Chota Nagpur, and other places in
India. The best Jain temples are often found in very remote spots,
and it is suggested that they were built at times when the Jains
had to hide in such places to avoid Hindu persecution. And wherever
a community of Jain merchants of any size has been settled for a
generation or more several fine temples will probably be found. A
Jain Bania who has grown rich considers the building of one or more
temples to be the best method of expending his money and acquiring
religious merit, and some of them spend all their fortune in this
manner before their death. At the opening of a new temple the _rath_
or chariot festival should be held. Wooden cars are made, sometimes
as much as five stories high, and furnished with chambers for the
images of the Tirthakars. In these the idols of the hosts and all
the guests are placed. Each car should be drawn by two elephants, and
the procession of cars moves seven times round the temple or pavilion
erected for the ceremony. For building a temple and performing this
ceremony honorary and hereditary titles are conferred. Those who do
it once receive the designation of Singhai; for carrying it out twice
they become Sawai Singhai; and on a third occasion Seth. In such a
ceremony performed at Khurai in Saugor one of the participators was
already a Seth, and in recognition of his great liberality a new
title was devised and he became Srimant Seth. It is said, however,
that if the car breaks and the elephants refuse to move, the title
becomes derisive and is either 'Lule Singhai,' the lame one, or
'Arku Singhai,' the stumbler. If no elephants are available and the
car has to be dragged by men, the title given is Kadhore Singhai.

12. Images of the Tirthakars.

In the temples are placed the images of Tirthakars, either of brass,
marble, silver or gold. The images may be small or life-size or larger,
and the deities are represented in a sitting posture with their legs
crossed and their hands lying upturned in front, the right over the
left, in the final attitude of contemplation prior to escape from
the body and attainment of paradise. There may be several images
in one temple, but usually there is only one, though a number of
temples are built adjoining each other or round a courtyard. The
favourite Tirthakars found in temples are Rishab Deva, the first;
Anantnath, the fourteenth; Santnath, the sixteenth; Nemnath,
the twenty-second; Parasnath, the twenty-third; and Vardhamana or
Mahavira, the twenty-fourth. [279] As already stated only Mahavira
and perhaps Parasnath, his preceptor, were real historical personages,
and the remainder are mythical. It is noticeable that to each of the
Tirthakars is attached a symbol, usually in the shape of an animal,
and also a tree, apparently that tree under which the Tirthakar is
held to have been seated at the time that he obtained release from
the body. And these animals and trees are in most cases those which
are also revered and held sacred by the Hindus. Thus the sacred
animal of Rishab Deva is the bull, and his tree the banyan; that of
Anantnath is the falcon or bear, and his tree the holy Asoka; [280]
that of Santnath is the black-buck or Indian antelope, and his tree
the _tun_ or cedar; [281] the symbol of Nemnath is the conch shell
(sacred to Vishnu), but his tree, the _vetasa_, is not known; the
animal of Parasnath is the serpent or cobra and his tree the _dhataki_;
[282] and the animal of Mahavira is the lion or tiger and his tree
the teak tree. Among the symbols of the other Tirthakars are the
elephant, horse, rhinoceros, boar, ape, the Brahmani duck, the moon,
the pipal tree, the lotus and the _swastik_ figure; and among their
trees the mango, the _jamun_ [283] and the _champak_. [284] Most of
these animals and trees are sacred to the Hindus, and the elephant,
boar, ape, cobra and tiger were formerly worshipped themselves, and
are now attached to the principal Hindu gods. Similarly the asoka,
pipal, banyan and mango trees are sacred, and also the Brahmani duck
and the _swastik_ sign. It cannot be supposed that the Tirthakars
simply represent the deified anthropomorphic emanations from these
animals, because the object of Vardhamana's preaching was perhaps
like that of Buddha to do away with the promiscuous polytheism of
the Hindu religion. But nevertheless the association of the sacred
animals and trees with the Tirthakars furnished a strong connecting
link between them and the Hindu gods, and considerably lessens the
opposition between the two systems of worship. The god Indra is also
frequently found sculptured as an attendant guardian in the Jain
temples. The fourteenth Tirthakar, Anantnath, is especially revered
by the people because he is identified with Gautama Buddha.

13. Religious observances.

The priest of a Jain temple is not usually a Yati or ascetic, but
an ordinary member of the community. He receives no remuneration
and carries on his business at the same time. He must know the Jain
scriptures, and makes recitations from them when the worshippers
are assembled. The Jain will ordinarily visit a temple and see
the god every morning before taking his food, and his wife often
goes with him. If there is no temple in their own town or village
they will go to another, provided that it is within a practicable
distance. The offerings made at the temple consist of rice, almonds,
cocoanuts, betel-leaves, areca, dates, cardamoms, cloves and similar
articles. These are appropriated by the Hindu Mali or gardener, who
is the menial servant employed to keep the temple and enclosures
clean. The Jain will not take back or consume himself anything
which has been offered to the god. Offerings of money are also
made, and these go into the _bhandar_ or fund for maintenance of
the temple. The Jains observe fasts for the last week before the
new moon in the months of Phagun (February), Asarh (June) and Kartik
(October). They also fast on the second, fifth, eighth, eleventh and
fourteenth days in each fortnight of the four months of the rains
from Asarh to Kartik, this being in lieu of the more rigorous fast
of the ascetics during the rains. On these days they eat only once,
and do not eat any green vegetables. After the week's fast at the
end of Kartik, at the commencement of the month of Aghan, the Jains
begin to eat all green vegetables.

14. Tenderness for animal life.

The great regard for animal life is the most marked feature of the
Jain religion among the laity as well as the clergy. The former do
not go to such extremes as the latter, but make it a practice not
to eat food after sunset or before sunrise, owing to the danger of
swallowing insects. Now that their beliefs are becoming more rational,
however, and the irksome nature of this rule is felt, they sometimes
place a lamp with a sieve over it to produce rays of light, and
consider that this serves as a substitute for the sun. Formerly they
maintained animal hospitals in which all kinds of animals and reptiles,
including monkeys, poultry and other birds were kept and fed, and any
which had broken a limb or sustained other injuries were admitted and
treated. These were known as _pinjrapol_ or places of protection. [285]
A similar institution was named _jivuti_, and consisted of a small
domed building with a hole at the top large enough for a man to creep
in, and here weevils and other insects which the Jains might find
in their food were kept and provided with grain. [286] In Rajputana,
where rich Jains probably had much influence, considerable deference
was paid to their objections to the death of any living thing. Thus
a Mewar edict of A.D. 1693 directed that no one might carry animals
for slaughter past their temples or houses. Any man or animal led
past a Jain house for the purpose of being killed was thereby saved
and set at liberty. Traitors, robbers or escaped prisoners who fled
for sanctuary to the dwelling of a Jain Yati or ascetic could not be
seized there by the officers of the court. And during the four rainy
months, when insects were most common, the potter's wheel and Teli's
oil-press might not be worked on account of the number of insects
which would be destroyed by them. [287]

15. Social condition of the Jains.

As they are nearly all of the Bania caste the Jains are usually
prosperous, and considering its small size, the standard of wealth in
the community is probably very high for India, the total number of
Jains in the country being about half a million. Beggars are rare,
and, like the Parsis and Europeans, the Jains feeling themselves a
small isolated body in the midst of a large alien population, have
a special tenderness for their poorer members, and help them in more
than the ordinary degree. Most of the Jain Banias are grain-dealers
and moneylenders like other Banias. Cultivation is prohibited by their
religion, owing to the destruction of animal life which it involves,
but in Saugor, and also in the north of India, many of them have
now taken to it, and some plough with their own hands. Mr. Marten
notes [288] that the Jains are beginning to put their wealth to a
more practical purpose than the lavish erection and adornment of
temples. Schools and boarding-houses for boys and girls of their
religion are being opened, and they subscribe liberally for the
building of medical institutions. It may be hoped that this movement
will continue and gather strength, both for the advantage of the
Jains themselves and the country generally.


[_Bibliography_: Right Reverend G. H. Westcott, _Kabir and the
Kabirpanth_, Cawnpore, 1907; _Asiatic Researches_, vol. xvi. pp. 53-75
(Wilson's _Hindu Sects_); Mr. Crooke's _Tribes and Castes_,
article Kabirpanthi; _Central Provinces Census Report_ (1891), Sir
B. Robertson.]

List of Paragraphs

    1. _Life of Kabir_.
    2. _Kabir's teachings_.
    3. _His sayings_.
    4. _The Kabirpanthi sect in the Central Provinces_.
    5. _The religious service_.
    6. _Initiation_.
    7. _Funeral rites_.
    8. _Idol worship_.
    9. _Statistics of the sect_.

1. Life of Kabir.

_Kabirpanthi Sect_.--A well-known religious sect founded by the
reformer Kabir, who flourished in the fifteenth century, and is called
by Dr. Hunter the Luther of India. The sect has now split into two
branches, the headquarters of one of these being at Benares, and of
the other at Kawardha, or Damakheda in Raipur. Bishop Westcott gives
the date of Kabir's life as A.D. 1440--1518, while Mr. Crooke states
that he flourished between 1488 and 1512. Numerous legends are now
told about him; thus, according to one of these, he was the son of a
virgin Brahman widow, who had been taken at her request to see the
great reformer Ramanand. He, unaware of her condition, saluted her
with the benediction which he thought acceptable to all women, and
wished her the conception of a son. His words could not be recalled,
and the widow conceived, but, in order to escape the disgrace which
would attach to her, exposed the child, who was Kabir. He was found
by a Julaha or Muhammadan weaver and his wife, and brought up by
them. The object of this story is probably to connect Kabir with
Ramanand as his successor in reformation and spiritual heir; because
the Ramanandis are an orthodox Vaishnava sect, while the Kabirpanthis,
if they adhered to all Kabir's preaching, must be considered as quite
outside the pale of Hinduism. To make out that Kabir came into the
world by Ramanand's act provides him at any rate with an orthodox
spiritual lineage. For the same reason [289] the date of Kabir's birth
is sometimes advanced as early as 1398 in order to bring it within
the period of Ramanand's lifetime (_circa_ 1300-1400). Another story
is that the deity took mortal shape as a child without birth, and was
found by a newly-married weaver's wife lying in a lotus flower on a
tank, like Moses in the bulrushes. Bishop Westcott thus describes the
event: "A feeling of thirst overcame Nima, the newly-wedded wife of
Niru, the weaver, as after the marriage ceremony she was making her
way to her husband's house. She approached the tank, but was much
afraid when she there beheld the child. She thought in her heart,
'This is probably the living evidence of the shame of some virgin
widow.' Niru suggested that they might take the child to their house,
but Nima at first demurred, thinking that such action might give
rise to scandal. Women would ask, 'Who is the mother of a child so
beautiful that its eyes are like the lotus?' However, laying aside
all fears, they took pity on the child. On approaching the house
they were welcomed with the songs of women, but when the women saw
the child dark thoughts arose in their heads, and they began to ask,
'How has she got this child?' Nima replied that she had got the child
without giving birth to it, and the women then refrained from asking
further questions." It is at any rate a point generally agreed on that
Kabir was brought up in the house of a Muhammadan weaver. It is said
that he became the _chela_ or disciple of Ramanand, but this cannot be
true, as Ramanand was dead before his birth. It seems probable that
he was married, and had two children named Kamal and Kamali. Bishop
Westcott states [290] that the _Kabir Kasauti_ explains the story
of his supposed marriage by the fact that he had a girl disciple
named Loi, a foundling brought up by a holy man; she followed his
precepts, and coming to Benares, passed her time in the service of
the saints. Afterwards Kabir raised two children from the dead and
gave them to Loi to bring up, and the ignorant suppose that these were
his wife and children. Such a statement would appear to indicate that
Kabir was really married, but after his sect had become important,
this fact was felt to be a blot on his claim to be a divine prophet,
and so was explained away in the above fashion.

The plain speaking of Kabir and his general disregard for religious
conventions excited the enmity of both Hindus and Muhammadans, and he
was accused before the Emperor Sikandar Lodi, by whose orders various
attempts were made to kill him; but he was miraculously preserved in
each case, until at last the Emperor acknowledged his divine character,
asked his forgiveness, and expressed his willingness to undergo
any punishment that he might name. To this Kabir replied that a man
should sow flowers for those who had sown him thorns. Bishop Westcott
continues:--"All accounts agree that the earthly life of Kabir came
to a close at Maghar, in the District of Gorakhpur. Tradition relates
that Kabir died in extreme old age, when his body had become infirm
and his hands were no longer able to produce the music with which he
had in younger days celebrated the praises of Rama.

"A difficulty arose with regard to the disposal of his body after
death. The Muhammadans desired to bury it and the Hindus to cremate
it. As the rival parties discussed the question with growing warmth
Kabir himself appeared and bade them raise the cloth in which the
body lay enshrouded. They did as he commanded, and lo! beneath the
cloth there lay but a heap of flowers. Of these flowers the Hindus
removed half and burnt them at Benares, while what remained were
buried at Maghar by the Muhammadans."

2. Kabir's teachings.

The religion preached by Kabir was of a lofty character. He rejected
the divine inspiration of the Vedas and the whole Hindu mythology. He
taught that there was no virtue in outward observances such as
shaving the head, ceremonial purity and impurity, and circumcision
among Muhammadans. He condemned the worship of idols and the use
of sect-marks and religious amulets, but in all ordinary matters
allowed his followers to conform to usage in order to avoid giving
offence. He abolished distinctions of caste. He enjoined a virtuous
life, just conduct and kindly behaviour and much meditation on the
virtues of God. He also condemned the love of money and gain. In fact,
in many respects his creed resembles Christianity, just as the life
of Kabir contains one or two episodes parallel to that of Christ. He
prescribed obedience to the Guru or spiritual preceptor in all matters
of faith and morals. His religion appears to have been somewhat of a
pantheistic character and his idea of the deity rather vague. But he
considered that the divine essence was present in all human beings, and
apparently that those who freed themselves from sin and the trammels
of worldly desires would ultimately be absorbed into the godhead. It
does not seem that Kabir made any exact pronouncement on the doctrine
of the transmigration of souls and re-birth, but as he laid great
stress on avoiding the destruction of any animal life, a precept
which is to some extent the outcome of the belief in transmigration,
he may have concurred in this tenet. Some Kabirpanthis, however,
have discarded transmigration. Bishop Westcott states that they do
believe in the re-birth of the soul after an intervening period of
reward or punishment, but always apparently in a human body.

3. His sayings

He would seem never to have promulgated any definite account of his
own religion, nor did he write anything himself. He uttered a large
number of Sakhis or apothegms which were recorded by his disciples
in the Bijak, Sukhanidhan and other works, and are very well known
and often quoted by Kabirpanthis and others. The influence of Kabir
extended beyond his own sect. Nanak, the founder of the Nanakpanthis
and Sikhs, was indebted to Kabir for most of his doctrine, and the
Adi-Granth or first sacred book of the Sikhs is largely compiled from
his sayings. Other sects such as the Dadupanthis also owe much to
him. A small selection of his sayings from those recorded by Bishop
Westcott may be given in illustration of their character:

1. Adding cowrie to cowrie he brings together lakhs and crores.

At the time of his departure he gets nothing at all, even his
loin-cloth is plucked away.

2. Fire does not burn it, the wind does not carry it away, no thief
comes near it; collect the wealth of the name of Rama, that wealth
is never lost.

3. By force and love circumcision is made, I shall not agree to it,
O brother. If God will make me a Turk by Him will I be circumcised;
if a man becomes a Turk by being circumcised what shall be done with
a woman? She must remain a Hindu.

4. The rosaries are of wood, the gods are of stone, the Ganges
and Jumna are water. Rama and Krishna are dead. The four Vedas are
fictitious stories.

5. If by worshipping stones one can find God, I shall worship a
mountain; better than these stones (idols) are the stones of the
flour-mill with which men grind their corn.

6. If by immersion in the water salvation be obtained, the frogs
bathe continually. As the frogs so are these men, again and again
they fall into the womb.

7. As long as the sun does not rise the stars sparkle; so long as
perfect knowledge of God is not obtained, men practise rites and

8. Brahma is dead with Siva who lived in Kashi; the immortals are
dead. In Mathura, Krishna, the cowherd, died. The ten incarnations
(of Vishnu) are dead. Machhandranath, Gorakhnath, Dattatreya and Vyas
are no longer living. Kabir cries with a loud voice, All these have
fallen into the slip-knot of death.

9. While dwelling in the womb there is no clan nor caste; from the
seed of Brahm the whole of creation is made.

Whose art thou the Brahman? Whose am I the Sudra? Whose blood am
I? Whose milk art thou?

Kabir says, 'Who reflects on Brahm, he by me is made a Brahman.'

10. To be truthful is best of all if the heart be truthful. A man
may speak as much as he likes; but there is no pleasure apart from

11. If by wandering about naked union with Hari be obtained; then
every deer of the forest will attain to God. If by shaving the head
perfection is achieved, the sheep is saved, no one is lost.

If salvation is got by celibacy, a eunuch should be the first
saved. Kabir says, 'Hear, O Man and Brother; without the name of Rama
no one has obtained salvation.'

The resemblance of some of the above ideas to the teaching of the
Gospels is striking, and, as has been seen, the story of Kabir's
birth might have been borrowed from the Bible, while the Kabirpanthi
Chauka or religious service has one or two features in common
with Christianity. These facts raise a probability, at any rate,
that Kabir or his disciples had some acquaintance with the Bible or
with the teaching of Christian missionaries. If such a supposition
were correct, it would follow that Christianity had influenced the
religious thought of India to a greater extent than is generally
supposed. Because, as has been seen, the Nanakpanthi and Sikh sects
are mainly based on the teaching of Kabir. Another interesting though
accidental resemblance is that the religion of Kabir was handed down
in the form of isolated texts and sayings like the Logia of Jesus, and
was first reduced to writing in a connected form by his disciples. The
fact that Kabir called the deity by the name of Rama apparently does
not imply that he ascribed a unique and sole divinity to the hero king
of Ajodhia. He had to have some name which might convey a definite
image or conception to his uneducated followers, and may have simply
adopted that which was best known and most revered by them.

4. The Kabirpanthi Sect in the Central Provinces.

The two principal headquarters of the Kabirpanthi sect are at Benaires
and at Kawardha, the capital of the State of that name, or Damakheda
in the Raipur District. These appear to be practically independent
of each other, the head Mahants exercising separate jurisdiction over
members of the sect who acknowledge their authority. The Benares branch
of the sect is known as Bap (father) and the Kawardha branch as Mai
(mother). In 1901 out of 850,000 Kabirpanthis in India 500,000 belonged
to the Central Provinces. The following account of the practices of
the sect in the Province is partly compiled from local information,
and it differs in some minor, though not in essential, points from
that given by Bishop Westcott. The Benares church is called the
Kabirchaura Math and the Kawardha one the Dharam Das Math.

One of the converts to Kabir's teaching was Dharam Das, a Kasaundhan
Bania, who distributed the whole of his wealth, eighteen lakhs of
rupees, in charity at his master's bidding and became a mendicant. In
reward for this Kabir promised him that his family should endure
for forty-two generations. The Mahants of Kawardha claim to be the
direct descendants of Dharam Das. They marry among Kasaundhan Banias,
and their sons are initiated and succeed them. The present Mahants
Dayaram and Ugranam are twelfth and thirteenth in descent from Dharam
Das. Kabir not only promised that there should be forty-two Mahants,
but gave the names of each of them, so that the names of all future
Mahants are known. [291] Ugranam was born of a Marar woman, and,
though acclaimed as the successor of his father, was challenged by
Dhirajnam, whose parentage was legitimate. Their dispute led to a case
in the Bombay High Court, which was decided in favour of Dhirajnam,
and he accordingly occupied the seat at Kawardha. Dayaram is his
successor. But Dhirajnam was unpopular, and little attention was paid
to him. Ugranam lives at Damakheda, near Simga, [292] and enjoys the
real homage of the followers of the sect, who say that Dhiraj was
the official Mahant but Ugra the people's Mahant. Of the previous
Mahants, four are buried at Kawardha, two at Kudarmal in Bilaspur,
the site of a Kabirpanthi fair, and two at Mandla. Under the head
Mahant are a number of subordinate Mahants or Gurus, each of whom has
jurisdiction over the members of the sect in a certain area. The Guru
pays so much a year to the head Mahant for his letter of jurisdiction
and takes all the offerings himself. These subordinate Mahants may
be celibate or married, and about two-thirds of them are married. A
dissenting branch called Nadiapanthi has now arisen in Raipur, all of
whom are celibate. The Mahants have a high peaked cap somewhat of the
shape of a mitre, a long sleeveless white robe, a _chauri_ or whisk,
_chauba_ or silver stick, and a staff called _kuari_ or _aska_. It
is said that on one occasion there was a very high flood at Puri and
the sea threatened to submerge Jagannath's temple, but Kabir planted
a stick in the sand and said, 'Come thus far and no further,' and the
flood was stayed. In memory of this the Mahants carry the crutched
staff, which also serves as a means of support. When officiating they
wear a small embroidered cap. Each Mahant has a Diwan or assistant,
and he travels about his charge during the open season, visiting the
members of the sect. A Mahant should not annoy any one by begging,
but rather than do so should remain hungry. He must not touch any
flesh, fish or liquor. And if any living thing is hungry he should
give it of his own food.

5. The religious service.

A Kabirpanthi religious service is called Chauka, the name given to the
space marked out for it with lines of wheat-flour, 5 or 7 1/2 yards
square. [293] In the centre is made a pattern of nine lotus flowers
to represent the sun, moon and seven planets, and over this a bunch of
real flowers is laid. At one corner is a small hollow pillar of dough
serving as a candle-stick, in which a stick covered with cotton-wool
burns as a lamp, being fed with butter. The Mahant sits at one end and
the worshippers sit round. _Bhajans_ or religious songs are sung to the
music of cymbals by one or two, and the others repeat the name of Kabir
counting on their _kanthi_ or necklace of beads. The Mahant lights a
piece of camphor and waves it backwards and forwards in a dish. This
is called Arti, a Hindu rite. He then breaks a cocoanut on a stone,
a thing which only a Mahant may do. The flesh of the cocoanut is cut
up and distributed to the worshippers with betel-leaf and sugar. Each
receives it on his knees, taking the greatest care that none fall
on the ground. If any of the cocoanut remain, it is kept by the
Mahant for another service. The Hindus think that the cocoanut is a
substitute for a human head. It is supposed to have been created by
Viswamitra and the _buch_ or tuft of fibre at the end represents the
hair. The Kabirpanthis will not eat any part of a cocoanut from other
Hindus from which this tuft has been removed, as they fear that it
may have been broken off in the name of some god or spirit. Once the
_buch_ is removed the cocoanut is not an acceptable offering, as its
likeness to a human head is considered to be destroyed. After this
the Mahant gives an address and an interval occurs. Some little time
afterwards the worshippers reassemble. Meanwhile, a servant has taken
the dough candle-stick and broken it up, mixing it with fragments of
the cocoanut, butter and more flour. It is then brought to the Mahant,
who makes it into little _puris_ or wafers. The Mahant has also a
number of betel-leaves known as _parwana_ or message, which have been
blessed by the head _guru_ at Kawardha or Damakheda. These are cut up
into small pieces for delivery to each disciple and are supposed to
represent the body of Kabir. He has also brought _Charan Amrita_ or
Nectar of the Feet, consisting of water in which the feet of the head
_guru_ have been washed. This is mixed with fine earth and made up into
pills. The worshippers reassemble, any who may feel unworthy absenting
themselves, and each receives from the Mahant, with one hand folded
beneath the other, a wafer of the dough, a piece of the _parwana_
or betel-leaf, and a pill of the foot-nectar. After partaking of the
sacred food they cleanse their hands, and the proceedings conclude with
a substantial meal defrayed either by subscription or by a well-to-do
member. Bishop Westcott states that the _parwana_ or betel-leaf is
held to represent Kabir's body, and the Kabirpanthis say that the
flame of the candle is the life or spirit of Kabir, so that the dough
of the candle-stick might also be taken to symbolise his body. The
cocoanut eaten at the preliminary service is undoubtedly offered by
Hindus as a substitute for a human body, though the Kabirpanthis may
now disclaim this idea. And the foot-nectar of the _guru_ might be
looked upon as a substitute for the blood of Kabir.

6. Initiation.

The initiation of a proselyte is conducted at a similar service,
and he is given cocoanut and betel-leaf. He solemnly vows to observe
the rules of the sect, and the Mahant whispers a text into his ear
and hangs a necklace of wooden beads of the wood of the _tulsi_ or
basil round his neck. This _kanthi_ or necklace is the mark of the
Kabirpanthi, but if lost, it can be replaced by any other necklace,
not necessarily of _tulsi_. One man was observed with a necklace of
pink beads bought at Allahabad. Sometimes only a single _tulsi_ bead
is worn on a string. The convert is also warned against eating the
fruit of the _gular_ [294] fig-tree, as these small figs are always
full of insects. Kabir condemned sect-marks, but many Kabirpanthis
now have them, the mark usually being a single broad streak of white
sandalwood from the top of the forehead to the nose.

7. Funeral rites.

The Kabirpanthis are usually buried. Formerly, the bodies of married
people both male and female were buried inside the compound of
the house, but this is now prohibited on sanitary grounds. A cloth
is placed in the grave and the corpse laid on it and another cloth
placed over it covering the face. Over the grave a little platform is
made on which the Mahant and two or three other persons can sit. On
the twenty-first day after the death, if possible, the Mahant should
hold a service for the dead. The form of the service is that already
described, the Mahant sitting on the grave and the _chauka_ being
made in front of it. He lays a cocoanut and flowers on the grave and
lights the lamp, afterwards distributing the cocoanut. The Kabirpanthis
think that the soul of the dead person remains in the grave up to this
time, but when the lamp is burnt the soul mingles with the flame,
which is the soul of Kabir, and is absorbed into the deity. When
breaking a cocoanut over the grave of the dead the Kabirpanthis say,
'I am breaking the skull of Yama,' because they think that the soul of
a Kabirpanthi is absorbed into the deity and therefore is not liable
to be taken down to hell and judged by Chitragupta and punished by
Yama. From this it would appear that some of them do not believe in
the transmigration of souls.

8. Idol worship.

Ordinarily the Kabirpanthis have no regular worship except on the
occasion of a visit of the _guru_. But sometimes in the morning they
fold their hands and say '_Sat Sahib_,' or the 'True God,' two or three
times. They also clean a space with cowdung and place a lighted lamp
on it and say '_Jai Kabir Ki_,' or 'Victory to Kabir.' They conceive
of the deity as consisting of light, and therefore it seems probable
that, like the other Vaishnava sects, they really take him to be the
Sun. Kabir prohibited the worship of all idols and visible symbols,
but as might be expected the illiterate Kabirpanthis cannot adhere
strictly to this. Some of them worship the Bijak, the principal sacred
book of their sect. At Rudri near Dhamtari on the Mahanadi one of
the Gurus is buried, and a religious fair is held there. Recently
a platform has been made with a footprint of Kabir marked on it,
and this is venerated by the pilgrims. Similarly, Kudarmal is held
to contain the grave of Churaman, the first _guru_ after Dharam Das,
and a religious fair is held here at which the Kabirpanthis attend and
venerate the grave. Dharam Das himself is said to be buried at Puri,
the site of Jagannath's temple, but it seems doubtful whether this
story may not have been devised in order to give the Kabirpanthis a
valid reason for going on pilgrimage to Puri. Similarly, an arch and
platform in the court of the temple of Rama at Ramtek is considered
to belong to the Kabirpanthis, though the Brahmans of the temple say
that the arch was really made by the daughter of a Surajvansi king
of the locality in order to fasten her swing to it. Once in three
years the Mahar Kabirpanthis of Mandla make a sacrificial offering
of a goat to Dulha Deo, the bridegroom god, and eat the flesh,
burying the remains beneath the floor. On this occasion they also
drink liquor. Other Kabirpanthis venerate Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
and light a lamp and burn camphor in their names, but do not make
idols of them. They will accept the cooked food offered to Vishnu as
Satnarayan and a piece of the cocoanut kernel offered to Devi, but not
the offerings to any other deities. And a number even of illiterate
Kabirpanthis appear to abstain from any kind of idol-worship.

9. Statistics of the sect.

About 600,000 Kabirpanthis were returned in the Central Provinces
in 1911, this being equivalent to an increase of 19 per cent since
the previous census. As this was less than the increase in the
total population the sect appears to be stationary or declining in
numbers. The weaving castes are usually Kabirpanthis, because Kabir was
a weaver. The Brahmans call it 'The weaver's religion.' Of the Panka
caste 84 per cent were returned as members of the sect, and this caste
appears to be of sectarian formation, consisting of Pans or Gandas
who have become Kabirpanthis. Other weaving castes such as Balahis,
Koris, Koshtis and Mahars belong to the sect in considerable numbers,
and it is also largely professed by other low castes as the Telis or
oilmen, of whom 16 per cent adhere to it, and by Dhobis and Chamars;
and by some castes from whom a Brahman will take water, as the Ahirs,
Kurmis, Lodhis and Kachhis. Though there seems little doubt that one
of the principal aims of Kabir's preaching was the abolition of the
social tyranny of the caste system, which is the most real and to the
lower classes the most hateful and burdensome feature of Hinduism,
yet as in the case of so many other reformers his crusade has failed,
and a man who becomes a Kabirpanthi does not cease to be a member of
his caste or to conform to its observances. And a few Brahmans who
have been converted, though renounced by their own caste, have, it
is said, been compensated by receiving high posts in the hierarchy of
the sect. Formerly all members of the sect took food together at the
conclusion of each Chauka or service conducted by a Mahant. But this
is no longer the case, and presumably different Chaukas are now held
for communities of different castes. Only on the 13th day of Bhadon
(August), which was the birthday of Kabir, as many Kabirpanthis as
can meet at the headquarters of the Guru take food together without
distinction of caste in memory of their Founder's doctrine. Otherwise
the Kabirpanthis of each caste make a separate group within it, but
among the lower castes they take food and marry with members of the
caste who are not Kabirpanthis. These latter are commonly known as
Saktaha, a term which in Chhattisgarh signifies an eater of meat as
opposed to a Kabirpanthi who refrains from it. The Mahars and Pankas
permit intermarriage between Kabirpanthi and Saktaha families,
the wife in each case adopting the customs and beliefs of her
husband. Kabirpanthis also wear the _choti_ or scalp-lock and shave
the head for the death of a relative, in spite of Kabir's contempt of
the custom. Still, the sect has in the past afforded to the uneducated
classes a somewhat higher ideal of spiritual life than the chaotic
medley of primitive superstitions and beliefs in witchcraft and devil
worship, from which the Brahmans, caring only for the recognition of
their social supremacy, made no attempt to raise them.

Lingayat Sect

_Lingayat Sect_.--A sect devoted to the worship of Siva which has
developed into a caste. The Lingayat sect is supposed [295] to have
been founded in the twelfth century by one Basava, a Brahman minister
of the king of the Carnatic. He preached the equality of all men and
of women also by birth, and the equal treatment of all. Women were to
be treated with the same respect as men, and any neglect or incivility
to a woman would be an insult to the god whose image she wore and with
whom she was one. Caste distinctions were the invention of Brahmans
and consequently unworthy of acceptance. The _Madras Census Report_
[296] of 1871 further states that Basava preached the immortality of
the soul, and mentions a theory that some of the traditions concerning
him might have been borrowed from the legends of the Syrian Christians,
who had obtained a settlement in Madras at a period not later than the
seventh century. The founder of the sect thus took as his fundamental
tenet the abolition of caste, but, as is usual in the history of
similar movements, the ultimate result has been that the Lingayats have
themselves become a caste. In Bombay they have two main divisions,
Mr. Enthoven states: [297] the Panchamsalis or descendants of the
original converts from Brahmanism and the non-Panchamsalis or later
converts. The latter are further subdivided into a number of groups,
apparently endogamous. Converts of each caste becoming Lingayats form
a separate group of their own, as Ahir Lingayats, Bania Lingayats
and so on, severing their connection with the parent caste. A third
division consists of members of unclean castes attached to the
Lingayat community by reason of performing to it menial service. A
marked tendency has recently been displayed by the community in Bombay
to revert to the original Brahmanic configuration of society, from
which its founder sought to free it. On the occasion of the census a
complete scheme was supplied to the authorities professing to show the
division of the Lingayats into the four groups of Brahman, Kshatriya,
Vaishya and Sudra.

In the Central Provinces Lingayats were not shown as a separate caste,
and the only return of members of the sect is from the Bania caste,
whose subcastes were abstracted. Lingayat was recorded as a subcaste by
8000 Banias, and these form a separate endogamous group. But members
of other castes as Gaolis, Malis, Patwas and the Telugu Balijas are
also Lingayats and marry among themselves. A child becomes a Lingayat
by being invested with the _lingam_ or phallic sign of Siva, seven
days after its birth, by the Jangam priest. This is afterwards carried
round the neck in a small casket of silver, brass or wood throughout
life, and is buried with the corpse at death. The corpse of a Lingayat
cannot be burnt because it must not be separated from the _lingam_,
as this is considered to be the incarnation of Siva and must not
be destroyed in the fire. If it is lost the owner must be invested
with a fresh one by the Jangam in the presence of the caste. It is
worshipped three times a day, being washed in the morning with the
ashes of cowdung cakes, while in the afternoon leaves of the _bel_
tree and food are offered to it. When a man is initiated as a Lingayat
in after-life, the Jangam invests him with the _lingam_, pours holy
water on to his head and mutters in his ear the sacred text, '_Aham
so aham_,' or 'I and you are now one and the same.' The Lingayats
are strict vegetarians, and will not expose their drinking water to
the sun, as they think that by doing this insects would be bred in it
and that by subsequently swallowing them they would be guilty of the
destruction of life. They are careful to leave no remains of a meal
uneaten. Their own priests, the Jangams, officiate at their weddings,
and after the conclusion of the ceremony the bride and bridegroom
break raw cakes of pulse placed on the other's back, the bride with her
foot and the bridegroom with his fist. Widow-marriage is allowed. The
dead are buried in a sitting posture with their faces turned towards
the east. Water sanctified by the Jangam having dipped his toe into
it is placed in the mouth of the corpse. The Jangam presses down the
earth over the grave and then stands on it and refuses to come off
until he is paid a sum of money varying with the means of the man,
the minimum payment being Rs. 1-4. In some cases a platform with an
image of Mahadeo is made over the grave. When meeting each other the
Lingayats give the salutation _Sharnat_, or, 'I prostrate myself before
you.' They address the Jangam as Maharaj and touch his feet with their
head. The Lingayat Banias of the Central Provinces usually belong to
Madras and speak Telugu in their houses. As they deny the authority
of Brahmans, the latter have naturally a great antipathy for them,
and make various statements to their discredit. One of these is that
after a death the Lingayats have a feast, and, setting up the corpse
in the centre, arrange themselves round it and eat their food. But
this is not authenticated. Similarly the Abbe Dubois stated: [298]
"They do not recognise the laws relating to defilement which are
generally accepted by other castes, such, for instance, as those
occasioned by a woman's periodical ailments, and by the death and
funeral of relations. Their indifference to all such prescriptive
customs relating to defilement and cleanliness has given rise to a
Hindu proverb which says, 'There is no river for a Lingayat,' meaning
that the members of the sect do not recognise, at all events on many
occasions, the virtues and merits of ablutions." The same author also
states that they entirely reject the doctrine of migration of souls,
and that, in consequence of their peculiar views on this point, they
have no _tithis_ or anniversary festivals to commemorate the dead. A
Lingayat is no sooner buried than he is forgotten. In view of these
remarks it must be held to be doubtful whether the Lingayats have
the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.

Muhammadan Religion

[_Bibliography_: Rev. T.P. Hughes, _Notes on Muhammadanism_, and
_Dictionary of Islam_, London, W.H. Allen, 1895; _Bombay Gazetteer_,
vol. ix. Part II. _Muhammadans of Gujarat_, by Khan Bahadur Fazalullah
Lutfullah Faridi; _Qaun-i-Islam,_ G.A. Herklots, Madras, Higginbotham,
reprint 1895; _Muhammadanism and Early Developments of Muhammadanism_,
by Professor D.S. Margoliouth; _Life of Mahomet_, by Sir. W. Muir;
Mr. J.T. Marten's _Central Provinces Census Report_, 1911. This
article is mainly compiled from the excellent accounts in the _Bombay
Gazetteer_ and the _Dictionary of Islam_.]

List of Paragraphs

     1. _Statistics and distribution_.
     2. _Occupations_.
     3. _Muhammadan castes_.
     4. _The four tribal divisions_.
     5. _Marriage_.
     6. _Polygamy, divorce and widow-remarriage_.
     7. _Devices for procuring children, and beliefs about them_.
     8. _Pregnancy rites_.
     9. _Childbirth and naming children_.
    10. _The Ukika sacrifice_.
    11. _Shaving the hair and ear-piercing_
    12. _Birthdays_.
    13. _Circumcision, and maturity of girls_.
    14. _Funeral rites_.
    15. _Muhammadan sects. Shiah and Sunni_.
    16. _Leading religious observations. Prayer._
    17. _The fast Ramazan._
    18. _The pilgrimage to Mecca._
    19. _Festivals. The Muharram_.
    20. _Id-ul-Fitr._
    21. _Id-ul-Zoha._
    22. _Mosques._
    22. _Mosques_
    23. _The Friday service._
    24. _Priest. Mulla and Maulvi._
    25. _The Kazi._
    26. _General features of Islam._
    27. _The Koran._
    28. _The Traditions_
    29. _The schools of law._
    30. _Food._
    31. _Dress._
    32. _Social rules. Salutations._
    33. _Customs._
    34. _Position of women._
    35. _Interest on money._
    36. _Muhammadan education._

1. Statistics and distribution.

_Muhammadan Religion._--The Muhammadans numbered nearly 600,000
persons in the Central Provinces in 1911, or about 3 per cent
of the population. Of these about two-fifths belong to Berar,
the Amraoti and Akola Districts containing more than 70,000 each;
while of the 350,000 returned from the Central Provinces proper,
about 40,000 reside in each of the Jubbulpore, Nagpur and Nimar
Districts. Berar was for a long period governed by the Muhammadan
Bahmani dynasty, and afterwards formed part of the Mughal empire,
passing to the Mughal Viceroy, the Nizam of Hyderabad, when he became
an independent ruler. Though under British administration, it is still
legally a part of Hyderabad territory, and a large proportion of the
official classes as well as many descendants of retired soldiers are
Muhammadans. Similarly Nimar was held by the Muhammadan Faruki dynasty
of Khandesh for 200 years, and was then included in the Mughal empire,
Burhanpur being the seat of a viceroy. At this period a good deal of
forcible conversion probably took place, and a considerable section
of the Bhils nominally became Muhammadans.

When the Gond Raja of Deogarh embraced Islam after his visit to Delhi,
members of this religion entered his service, and he also brought back
with him various artificers and craftsmen. The cavalry of the Bhonsla
Raja of Nagpur was largely composed of Muhammadans, and in many cases
their descendants have settled on the land. In the Chhattisgarh
Division and the Feudatory States the number of Muhammadans is
extremely small, constituting less than one per cent of the population.

2. Occupations.

No less than 37 per cent of the total number of Muhammadans live
in towns, though the general proportion of urban population in
the Provinces is only 7 1/2 per cent. The number of Muhammadans
in Government service excluding the police and army, is quite
disproportionate to their small numerical strength in the Provinces,
being 20 per cent of all persons employed. In the garrison they
actually outnumber Hindus, while in the police they form 37 per
cent of the whole force. In the medical and teaching professions
also the number of Muhammadans is comparatively large, while of
persons of independent means a proportion of 29 per cent are of this
religion. Of persons employed in domestic services nearly 14 per cent
of the total are Muhammadans, and of beggars, vagrants and prostitutes
23 per cent. Muhammadans are largely engaged in making and selling
clothes, outnumbering the Hindus in this trade; they consist of two
entirely different classes, the Muhammadan tailors who work for hire,
and the Bohra and Khoja shopkeepers who sell all kinds of cloth; but
both live in towns. Of dealers in timber and furniture 36 per cent
are Muhammadans, and they also engage in all branches of the retail
trade in provisions. The occupations of the lower-class Muhammadans
are the manufacture of glass bangles and slippers and the dyeing of
cloth. [299]

3. Muhammadan castes.

About 14 per cent of the Muhammadans returned caste names. The
principal castes are the Bohra and Khoja merchants, who are of the
Shiah sect, and the Cutchis or Memans from Gujarat, who are also
traders; these classes are foreigners in the Province, and many
of them do not bring their wives, though they have now begun to
settle here. The resident castes of Muhammadans are the Bahnas or
cotton-cleaners; Julahas, weavers; Kacheras, glass bangle-makers;
Kunjras, greengrocers; Kasais, butchers; and the Rangrez caste
of dyers who dye with safflower. As already stated, a section of
the Bhils are at least nominally Muhammadans, and the Fakirs or
Muhammadan beggars are also considered a separate caste. But no caste
of good standing such as the Rajput and Jat includes any considerable
number of Muhammadans in the Central Provinces, though in northern
India large numbers of them belong to this religion, while retaining
substantially their caste usages. The Muhammadan castes in the Central
Provinces probably consist to a large extent of the descendants of
Hindu converts. Their religious observances present a curious mixture
of Hindu and Muhammadan rites, as shown in the separate articles on
these castes. Proper Muhammadans look down on them and decline to
take food or intermarry with them.

4. The four tribal divisions.

The Muhammadans proper are usually divided into four classes, Shaikh,
Saiyad, Mughal and Pathan. Of these the Shaikhs number nearly 300,000,
the Pathans nearly 150,000, the Saiyads under 50,000, and the Pathans
about 9000 in the Central Provinces. The term Saiyad properly
means a descendant of Ali, the son-in-law, and the lady Fatimah,
the daughter of the Prophet. They use the title Saiyad or Mir [300]
before, and sometimes Shah after, their name, while women employ
that of Begum. Many Saiyads act as Pirs or spiritual guides to other
Muhammadan families. The external mark of a Saiyad is the right to
wear a green turban, but this is of course no longer legally secured
to them. The title Shaikh properly belongs only to three branches of
the Quraish tribe or that of Muhammad: the Siddikis, who claim descent
from Abu Bakr Siddik, [301] the father-in-law of the Prophet and the
second Caliph; the Farukis claiming it from Umar ul Faruk, the third
Caliph, and also the father-in-law of the Prophet; and the Abbasis,
descended from Abbas, one of the Prophet's nine uncles. The Farukis are
divided into two families, the Chistis and Faridis. Both these titles,
however, and especially Shaikh, are now arrogated by large numbers
of persons who cannot have any pretence to the above descent. Sir
D. Ibbetson quotes a proverb, 'Last year I was a butcher; this year I
am a Shaikh; next year if prices rise I shall become a Saiyad.' And Sir
H. M. Elliot relates that much amusement was caused in 1860 at Gujarat
by the Sherishtadar or principal officer of the judicial department
describing himself in an official return as Saiyad Hashimi Quraishi,
that is, of the family and lineage of the Prophet. His father, who was
living in obscurity in his native town, was discovered to be a Lohar
or blacksmith. [302] The term Shaikh means properly an elder, and
is freely taken by persons of respectable position. Shaikhs commonly
use either Shaikh or Muhammad as their first names. The Pathans were
originally the descendants of Afghan immigrants. The name is probably
the Indian form of the word Pushtun (plural Pushtanah), now given to
themselves by speakers of the Pushtu language. [303] The men add Khan
to their names and the women Khatun or Khatu. It is not at all likely
either that the bulk of the Muhammadans who returned themselves as
Pathans in the Central Provinces are really of Afghan descent. The
Mughals proper are of two classes, Irani or Persian, who belong to
the Shiah sect, and Turani, Turkish or Tartar, who are Sunnis. Mughals
use the title Mirza (short for Amirzada, son of a prince) before their
names, and add Beg after them. It is said that the Prophet addressed
a Mughal by the title of Beg after winning a victory, and since then
it has always been used. Mughal women have the designation Khanum
after their names. [304] Formerly the Saiyads and Mughals constituted
the superior class of Muhammadan gentry, and never touched a plough
themselves, like the Hindu Brahmans and Rajputs. These four divisions
are not proper subcastes as they are not endogamous. A man of one
group can marry a woman of any other and she becomes a member of her
husband's group; but the daughters of Saiyads do not usually marry
others than Saiyads. Nor is there any real distinction of occupation
between them, the men following any occupation indifferently. In fact,
the divisions are now little more than titular, a certain distinction
attaching to the titles Saiyad and Shaikh when borne by families who
have a hereditary or prescriptive right to use them.

5. Marriage.

The census returns of 1911 show that three-fourths of Muhammadan boys
now remain unmarried till the age of 20; while of girls 31 per cent are
unmarried between 15 and 20, but only 13 per cent above that age. The
age of marriage of boys may therefore be taken at 18 to 25 or later,
and that of girls at 10 to 20. The age of marriage both of girls and
boys is probably getting later, especially among the better classes.

Marriage is prohibited to the ordinary near relatives, but not between
first cousins. A man cannot marry his foster-mother or foster-sister,
unless the foster-brother and sister were nursed by the same woman
at intervals widely separated. A man may not marry his wife's sister
during his wife's lifetime unless she has been divorced. A Muhammadan
cannot marry a polytheist, but he may marry a Jewess or a Christian. No
specific religious ceremony is appointed, nor are any rites essential
for the contraction of a valid marriage. If both persons are legally
competent, and contract marriage with each other in the presence of two
male or one male and two female witnesses, it is sufficient. And the
Shiah law even dispenses with witnesses. As a rule the Kazi performs
the ceremony, and reads four chapters of the Koran with the profession
of belief, the bridegroom repeating them after him. The parties then
express their mutual consent, and the Kazi, raising his hands, says,
"The great God grant that mutual love may reign between this couple
as it existed between Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Joseph and
Zuleika, Moses and Zipporah, His Highness Muhammad and Ayesha, and
His Highness Ali and Fatimah." [305] A dowry or _meher_ must be paid
to the wife, which under the law must not be less than ten silver
_dirhams_ or drachmas; but it is customary to fix it at Rs. 17, the
dowry of Fatimah, the Prophet's favourite daughter, or at Rs. 750,
that of the Prophet's wife, Ayesha. [306] The wedding is, however,
usually accompanied by feasts and celebrations not less elaborate
or costly than those of the Hindus. Several Hindu ceremonies are
also included, such as the anointing of the bride and bridegroom
with oil and turmeric, and setting out earthen vessels, which are
meant to afford a dwelling-place for the spirits of ancestors, at
least among the lower classes. [307] Another essential rite is the
rubbing of the hands and feet of the bridegroom with _mehndi_ or red
henna. The marriage is usually arranged and a ceremony of betrothal
held at least a year before it actually takes place.

6. Polygamy, divorce and widow-remarriage.

A husband can divorce his wife at pleasure by merely repeating the
prescribed sentences. A wife can obtain divorce from her husband for
impotence, madness, leprosy or non-payment of the dowry. A woman who
is divorced can claim her dowry if it has not been paid. Polygamy is
permitted among Muhammadans to the number of four wives, but it is
very rare in the Central Provinces. Owing to the fact that members
of the immigrant trading castes leave their wives at home in Gujarat,
the number of married women returned at the census was substantially
less than that of married men. A feeling in favour of the legal
prohibition of polygamy is growing up among educated Muhammadans,
and many of them sign a contract at marriage not to take a second
wife during the lifetime of the first. There is no prohibition on
the remarriage of widows in Muhammadan law, but the Hindu rule on
the subject has had considerable influence, and some Muhammadans of
good position object to the marriage of widows in their family. The
custom of the seclusion of women also, as Mr. Marten points out,
operates as a bar to a widow finding a husband for herself.

7. Devices for procuring children, and beliefs about them.

Women who desire children resort to the shrines of saints, who are
supposed to be able to induce fertility. "Blochmann notes that the
tomb of Saint Salim-i-Chishti at Fatehpur-Sikri, in whose house
the Emperor Jahangir was born, is up to the present day visited by
childless Hindu and Musalman women. A tree in the compound of the
saint Shaih Alam of Ahmedabad yields a peculiar acorn-like fruit,
which is sought after far and wide by those desiring children; the
woman is believed to conceive from the moment of eating the fruit. If
the birth of a child follows the eating of the acorn, the man and woman
who took it from the tree should for a certain number of years come at
every anniversary of the saint and nourish the tree with a supply of
milk. In addition to this, jasmine and rose-bushes at the shrines of
certain saints are supposed to possess issue-giving properties. To
draw virtue from the saint's jasmine the woman who yearns for a
child bathes and purifies herself and goes to the shrine, and seats
herself under or near the jasmine bush with her skirt spread out. As
many flowers as fall into her lap, so many children will she have. In
some localities if after the birth of one child no other son is born,
or being born does not live, it is supposed that the first-born child
is possessed by a malignant spirit who destroys the young lives of
the new-born brothers and sisters. So at the mother's next confinement
sugar and sesame-seed are passed seven or nine times over the new-born
infant from head to foot, and the elder boy or girl is given them to
eat. The sugar represents the life of the young one given to the spirit
who possesses the first-born. A child born with teeth already visible
is believed to exercise a very malignant influence over its parents,
and to render the early death of one of them almost certain." [308]

8. Pregnancy rites.

In the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy a fertility rite is
performed as among the Hindus. The woman is dressed in new clothes,
and her lap is filled with fruit and vegetables by her friends. In
some localities a large number of pots are obtained, and a little
water is placed in each of them by a fertile married woman who has
never lost a child. Prayers are repeated over the pots in the names
of the male and female ancestors of the family, and especially of the
women who have died in childbirth. This appears to be a propitiation
of the spirits of ancestors. [309]

9. Childbirth and naming children.

A woman goes to her parents' home after the last pregnancy rite and
stays there till her confinement is over. The rites performed by the
midwife at birth resemble those of the Hindus. When the child is born
the _azan_ or summons to prayer is uttered aloud in his right ear,
and the _takbir_ or Muhammadan creed in his left. The child is named
on the sixth or seventh day. Sometimes the name of an ancestor is
given, or the initial letter is selected from the Koran at a venture
and a name beginning with that letter is chosen. Some common names
are those of the hundred titles of God combined with the prefix _abd_
or servant. Such are Abdul Aziz, servant of the all-honoured; Ghani,
the everlasting; Karim, the gracious; Rahim, the pitiful; Rahman,
the merciful; Razzak, the bread-giver; Sattar, the concealer; and
so on, with the prefix Abdul, or servant of, in each case. Similarly
Abdullah, or servant of God, was the name of Muhammad's father, and
is a very favourite one. Other names end with Baksh or 'given by,' as
Haidar Baksh, given by the lion (Ali); these are similar to the Hindu
names ending in Prasad. The prefix Ghulam, or slave of, is also used,
as Ghulam Hussain, slave of Hussain; and names of Hebrew patriarchs
mentioned in the Koran are not uncommon, as Ayub Job, Harun Aaron,
Ishaq Isaac, Musa Moses, Yakub Jacob, Yusaf Joseph, and so on. [310]

10. The Ukika sacrifice.

After childbirth the mother must not pray or fast, touch the Koran
or enter a mosque for forty days; on the expiry of this period she is
bathed and dressed in good clothes, and her relatives bring presents
for the child. Some people do not let her oil or comb her hair during
these days. The custom would seem to be a relic of the period of
impurity of women after childbirth. On the fortieth day the child
is placed in a cradle for the first time. In some localities a rite
called Ukika is performed after the birth of a child. It consists of a
sacrifice in the name of the child of two he-goats for a boy and one
for a girl. The goats must be above a year old, and without spot or
blemish. The meat must be separated from the bones so that not a bone
is broken, and the bones, skin, feet and head are afterwards buried
in the earth. When the flesh is served the following prayer is said by
the father: "O, Almighty God, I offer in the stead of my own offspring
life for life, blood for blood, head for head, bone for bone, hair
for hair, and skin for skin. In the name of God do I sacrifice this
he-goat." This is apparently a relic of the substitution of a goat for
Ishmael when Abraham was offering him as a sacrifice. The Muhammadans
say that it was Ishmael instead of Isaac who was thus offered, and they
think that Ishmael or Ismail was the ancestor of all the Arabs. [311]

11. Shaving the hair and ear-piercing.

Either on the same day as the Ukika sacrifice or soon afterwards the
child's hair is shaved for the first time. By the rich the hair is
weighed against silver and this sum is distributed to beggars. It is
then tied up in a piece of cloth and either buried or thrown into a
river, or sometimes set afloat on a little toy raft in the name of a
saint. Occasionally tufts of hair or even the whole head may be left
unshaven in the name of a saint, and after one or more years the child
is taken to the saint's tomb and the hair shaved there; or if this
cannot be done it is cut off at home in the name of the saint. [312]

When a girl is one or two years old the lobes of her ears are bored. By
degrees other holes are bored along the edge of the ear and even
in the centre, till by the time she has attained the age of two or
three years she has thirteen holes in the right ear and twelve in the
left. Little silver rings and various kinds of earrings are inserted
and worn in the holes. But the practice of boring so many holes has
now been abandoned by the better-class Muhammadans.

12. Birthdays.

The child's birthday is known as _sal-girah_ and is celebrated by a
feast. A knot is tied in a red thread and annually thereafter a fresh
knot to mark his age, and prayers are offered in the child's name to
the patriarch Noah, who is believed to have lived to five hundred or
a thousand years, and hence to have the power of conferring longevity
on the child. When a child is four years, four months and four days
old the ceremony of Bismillah or taking the name of God is held,
which is obligatory on all Muhammadans. Friends are invited, and the
child is dressed in a flowered robe (_sahra_) and repeats the first
chapters of the Koran after his or her tutor. [313]

13. Circumcision, and maturity of girls.

A boy is usually circumcised at the age of six or seven, but among
some classes of Shiahs and the Arabs the operation is performed a few
days after birth. The barber operates and the child is usually given
a little _bhang_ or other opiate. Some Muhammadans leave circumcision
till an age bordering on puberty, and then perform it with a pomp and
ceremony almost equalling those of a marriage. When a girl arrives
at the age of puberty she is secluded for seven days, and for this
period eats only butter, bread and sugar, all fish, flesh, salt and
acid food being prohibited. In the evening she is bathed, warm water
is poured on her head, and among the lower classes an entertainment
is given to friends. [314]

14. Funeral rites.

The same word _janazah_ is used for the corpse, the bier and the
funeral. When a man is at the point of death a chapter of the Koran,
telling of the happiness awaiting the true believer in the future life,
is read, and some money or sherbet is dropped into his mouth. After
death the body is carefully washed and wrapped in three or five cloths
for a male or female respectively. Some camphor or other sweet-smelling
stuff is placed on the bier. Women do not usually attend funerals, and
the friends and relatives of the deceased walk behind the bier. There
is a tradition among some Muhammadans that no one should precede the
corpse, as the angels go before. To carry a bier is considered a very
meritorious act, and four of the relations, relieving each other
in turn, bear it on their shoulders. Muhammadans carry their dead
quickly to the place of interment, for Muhammad is stated to have
said that it is good to carry the dead quickly to the grave, so as
to cause the righteous person to attain the sooner to bliss; and, on
the other hand, in the case of a bad man it is well to put wickedness
away from one's shoulders. Funerals should always be attended on foot,
for it is said that Muhammad once rebuked people who were following
a bier on horseback, saying, "Have you no shame, since God's angels
go on foot and you go upon the backs of quadrupeds?" It is a highly
meritorious act to attend a funeral whether it be that of a Muslim,
a Jew or a Christian. The funeral service is not recited in the
cemetery, this being too polluted a place for so sacred an office,
but either in a mosque or in some open space close to the dwelling of
the deceased person or to the graveyard. The nearest relative is the
proper person to recite the service, but it is usually said by the
family priest or the village Kazi. The grave sometimes has a recess
at the side, in which the body is laid to prevent the earth falling
upon it, or planks may be laid over the body slantwise or supported on
bricks for the same purpose. Coffins are only used by the rich. When
the body has been placed in the grave each person takes up a clod
of earth and pronouncing over it a verse of the Koran, 'From earth
we made you, to earth we return you and out of earth we shall raise
you on the resurrection day,' places it gently in the grave over the
corpse. [315] The building of stone or brick tombs and writing verses
of the Koran on them is prohibited by the Traditions, but large masonry
tombs are common in all Muhammadan countries and very frequently they
bear inscriptions. On the third day a feast is given in the morning
and after it trays of flowers with a vessel containing scented oil
are handed round and the guests pick flowers and dip them into the
oil. They then proceed to the grave, where the oil and flowers are
placed. Maulvis are employed to read the whole of the Koran over the
grave, which they accomplish by dividing it into sections and reading
them at the same time. Rich people sometimes have the whole Koran
read several times over in this manner. A sheet of white or red cloth
is spread over the grave, green being usually reserved for Fakirs or
saints. On the evening of the ninth day another feast is given, to
which friends and neighbours, and religious and ordinary beggars are
invited, and a portion is sent to the Fakir or mendicant in charge of
the burying-ground. Some people will not eat any food from this feast
in their houses but take it outside. [316] On the morning of the tenth
day they go again to the grave and repeat the offering of flowers and
scented oil as before. Other feasts are given on the fortieth day,
and at the expiration of four, six and nine months, and one year from
the date of the death, and the rich sometimes spend large sums on
them. None of these observances are prescribed by the Koran but have
either been retained from pre-Islamic times or adopted in imitation of
the Hindus. For forty days all furniture is removed from the rooms and
the whole family sleep on the bare ground. Sometimes a cup of water and
a wheaten cake are placed nightly for forty days on the spot where the
deceased died, and a similar provision is sent to the mosque. When a
man dies his mother and widow break their glass bangles. The mother
can get new ones, but the widow does not wear glass bangles or a
nose-ring again unless she takes a second husband. For four months
and ten days the widow is strictly secluded and does not leave the
house. Prayers for ancestors are offered annually at the Shab-i-Barat
or Bakr-Id festival. [317] The property of a deceased Muhammadan is
applicable in the first place to the payment of his funeral expenses;
secondly, to the discharge of his debts; and thirdly, to the payment
of legacies up to one-third of the residue. If the legacies exceed
this amount they are proportionately reduced. The remainder of the
property is distributed by a complicated system of shares to those of
the deceased's relatives who rank as sharers and residuaries, legacies
to any of them in excess of the amount of their shares being void. The
consequence of this law is that most Muhammadans die intestate. [318]

15. Muhammadan sects. Shiah and Sunni.

Of the two main sects of Islam, ninety-four per cent of the Muhammadans
in the Central Province were returned as being Sunnis in 1911 and three
per cent as Shiahs, while the remainder gave no sect. Only the Cutchi,
Bohra and Khoja immigrants from Gujarat are Shiahs and practically
all other Muhammadans are Sunnis. With the exception of Persia,
Oudh and part of Gujarat, the inhabitants of which are Shiahs, the
Sunni sect is generally prevalent in the Muhammadan world. The main
difference between the Sunnis and Shiahs is that the latter think
that according to the Koran the Caliphate or spiritual headship of
the Muhammadans had to descend in the Prophet's family and therefore
necessarily devolved on the Lady Fatimah, the only one of his children
who survived him, and on her husband Ali the fourth Caliph. They
therefore reject the first three Caliphs after Muhammad, that is Abu
Bakr, Omar and Othman. After Ali they also hold that the Caliphate
descended in his family to his two sons Hasan and Hussain, and the
descendants of Hussain. Consequently they reject all the subsequent
Caliphs of the Muhammadan world, as Hussain and his children did not
occupy this position. They say that there are only twelve Caliphs,
or Imams, as they now prefer to call them, and that the twelfth
has never really died and will return again as the Messiah of whom
Muhammad spoke, at the end of the world. He is known as the Mahdi, and
the well-known pretender of the Soudan, as well as others elsewhere,
have claimed to be this twelfth or unrevealed Imam. Other sects of
the Shiahs, as the Zaidiyah and Ismailia, make a difference in the
succession of the Imamate among Hussain's descendants. The central
incident of the Shiah faith is the slaughter of Hussain, the son
of Ali, with his family, on the plain of Karbala in Persia by the
sons of Yazid, the second Caliph of the Umaiyad dynasty of Damascus,
on the 10th day of the month Muharram, in the 61st year of the Hijra
or A.D. 680. The martyrdom of Hussain and his family at Karbala is
celebrated annually for the first ten days of the month of Muharram by
the Shiahs. Properly the Sunnis should take no part in this, and should
observe only the tenth day of Muharram as that on which Adam and Eve
and heaven and hell were created. But in the Central Provinces the
Sunnis participate in all the Muharram celebrations, which now have
rather the character of a festival than of a season of mourning. The
Shiahs also reject the four great schools of tradition of the Sunnis,
and have separate traditional authorities of their own. They count the
month to begin from the full moon instead of the new moon, pray three
instead of five times a day, and in praying hold their hands open by
their sides instead of folding them below the breast. The word Shiah
means a follower, and Sunni one proceeding on the _sunnah_, the path
or way, a term applied to the traditions of the Prophet. The two words
have thus almost the same signification. Except when otherwise stated,
the information in this article relates to the Sunnis.

16. Leading religious observances. Prayer.

The five standard observances of the Muhammadan religion are the
Kalima, or creed; Sula, or the five daily prayers; Roza, or the
thirty-day fast of Ramazan; Zakab, the legal alms; and Hajj, the
pilgrimage to Mecca, which should be performed once in a lifetime. The
Kalima, or creed, consists simply in the sentence, 'There is but
one God and Muhammad is His prophet,' which is frequently on the
lips of Muhammadans. The five periods for prayer are Fajr ki namaz,
in the morning before sunrise; Zohar, or the midday prayer, after the
sun has begun to decline; Asur, or the afternoon prayer, about four;
Maghrib, or the evening prayer, immediately after sunset; and Aysha,
or the evening prayer, after the night has closed in. These prayers
are repeated in Arabic, and before saying them the face, hands and
feet should be washed, and, correctly speaking, the teeth should
also be cleaned. At the times of prayer the Azan or call to prayer is
repeated from the mosque by the _muezzan_ or crier in the following
terms: "God is great, God is great, God is great, God is great! I
bear witness that there is no God but God! (twice). I bear witness
that Muhammad is the Apostle of God! (twice). Come to prayers! Come
to prayers! Come to salvation! Come to salvation! God is great! There
is no other God but God." In the early morning the following sentence
is added, 'Prayers are better than sleep.' [319]

17. The fast of Ramazan.

The third necessary observance is the fast in the month of Ramazan,
the ninth month of the Muhammadan year. The fast begins when the new
moon is seen, or if the sky is clouded, after thirty days from the
beginning of the previous month. During its continuance no food or
water must be taken between sunrise and sunset, and betel-leaf, tobacco
and conjugal intercourse must be abjured for the whole period. The
abstention from water is a very severe penance during the long days of
the hot weather when Ramazan falls at this season. Mr. Hughes thinks
that the Prophet took the thirty days' fast from the Christian Lent,
which was observed very strictly in the Eastern Church during the
nights as well as days. In ordaining the fast he said that God 'would
make it an ease and not a difficulty,' but he may not have reflected
that his own action in discarding the intercalary month adopted by the
Arabs and reverting to the simple lunar months would cause the fast
to revolve round the whole year. During the fast people eat before
sunrise and after sunset, and dinner-parties are held lasting far
into the night.

It is a divine command to give alms annually of money, cattle, grain,
fruit and merchandise. If a man has as much as eighty rupees, or forty
sheep and goats, or five camels, he should give alms at specified
rates amounting roughly to two and a half per cent of his property. In
the case of fruit and grain the rate is one-tenth of the harvest for
unirrigated, and a twentieth for irrigated crops. These alms should
be given to pilgrims who desire to go to Mecca but have not the means;
and to religious and other beggars if they are very poor, debtors who
have not the means to discharge their debts, champions of the cause
of God, travellers without food and proselytes to Islam. Religious
mendicants consider it unlawful to accept the _zakat_ or legal alms
unless they are very poor, and they may not be given to Saiyads or
descendants of the Prophet.

18. The pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is incumbent on all men and women
who have sufficient means to meet the expenses of the journey and
to maintain their families at home during their absence. Only a
very small proportion of Indian Muhammadans, however, now undertake
it. Mecca is the capital of Arabia and about seventy miles from the Red
Sea. The pilgrimage must be performed during the month Zu'l Hijjah,
so that the pilgrim may be at Mecca on the festival of Id-ul-Zoha
or the Bakr-Id. At the last stage near Mecca the pilgrims assume a
special dress, consisting of two seamless wrappers, one round the
waist and the other over the shoulders. Sandals of wood may also be
worn. Formerly the pilgrim would take with him a little compass in
which the needle in the shape of a dove pointed continually towards
Mecca in the west. On arrival at Mecca he performs the legal ablutions,
proceeds to the sacred mosque, kisses the black stone, and encompasses
the Kaaba seven times. The Kaaba or 'Cube' is a large stone building
and the black stone is let into one of its walls. He drinks the water
of the sacred well Zem-Zem from which Hagar and Ishmael obtained water
when they were dying of thirst in the wilderness, and goes through
various other rites up to the day of Id-ul-Zoha, when he performs
the sacrifice or _kurban_, offering a ram or he-goat for every member
of his family, or for every seven persons a female camel or cow. The
flesh is distributed in the same manner as that of the ordinary Bakr-Id
sacrifice. [320] He then gets himself shaved and his nails pared, which
he has not done since he assumed the pilgrim's garb, and buries the
cuttings and parings at the place of the sacrifice. The pilgrimage is
concluded after another circuit of the Kaaba, but before his departure
the pilgrim should visit the tomb of Muhammad at Medina. One who has
performed the pilgrimage to Mecca thereafter has the title of Haji.

19. Festivals. The Muharram.

The principal festivals are the Muharram and the two Ids. The month
of Muharram is the first of the year, and the first ten days, as
already stated, are devoted to mourning for the death of Hussain and
his family. This is observed indifferently by Sunnis and Shiahs in
the Central Provinces, and the proceedings with the Sunnis at any
rate have now rather the character of a festival than a time of
sorrow. Models of the tomb of Hussain, called _tazia_, are made of
bamboo and pasteboard and decorated with tinsel. Wealthy Shiahs have
expensive models, richly decorated, which are permanently kept in a
chamber of the house called the Imambara or Imam's place, but this is
scarcely ever done in the Central Provinces. As a rule the _tazias_
are taken in procession and deposited in a river on the last and
great day of the Muharram. Women who have made vows for the recovery
of their children from an illness dress them in green and send them to
beg; and men and boys of the lower classes have themselves painted as
tigers and go about mimicking a tiger for what they can get from the
spectators. It seems likely that the representations of tigers may
be in memory of the lion which is said to have kept watch over the
body of Hussain after he had been buried. In Persia a man disguised
as a tiger appears on the tomb of Hussain in the drama of his murder
at Karbala, which is enacted at the Muharram. In Hindu mythology the
lion and tiger appear to be interchangeable. During the tragedy at
Karbala, Kasim, a young nephew of Hussain, was married to his little
daughter Sakinah, Kasim being very shortly afterwards killed. It is
supposed that the cast shoe of Kasim's horse was brought to India,
and at the Muharram models of horse-shoes are made and carried fixed on
poles. Men who feel so impelled and think that they will be possessed
by the spirit of Kasim make these horse-shoes and carry them, and
frequently they believe themselves to be possessed by the spirit,
exhibiting the usual symptoms of a kind of frenzy, and women apply
to them for children or for having evil spirits cast out. [321]

20. Id-ul-Fitr.

The Id-ul-Fitr, or the breaking of the fast, is held on the first
day of the tenth month, Shawwal, on the day after the end of the
fast of Ramazan. On this day the people assemble dressed in their
best clothes and proceed to the Id-Gah, a building erected outside
the town and consisting of a platform with a wall at the western end
in the direction of Mecca. Here prayers are offered, concluding with
one for the King-Emperor, and a sermon is given, and the people then
return escorting the Kazi or other leading member of the community and
sometimes paying their respects in a body to European officers. They
return to their homes and spend the rest of the day in feasting and
merriment, a kind of vermicelli being a special dish eaten on this day.

21. Id-ul-Zoha

The Idu-l-Azha or Id-ul-Zoha, the feast of sacrifice, also called
the Bakr-Id or cow-festival, is held on the tenth day of the last
month, Zu'l Hijjah. It is the principal day of the Muhammadan year,
and pilgrims going to Mecca keep it there. [322] At this time also the
Arabs were accustomed to go to Mecca and offer animal sacrifices there
to the local deities. According to tradition, when Abraham (Ibrahim)
founded Mecca the Lord desired him to prepare a feast and to offer his
son Ishmael (Ismail). But when he had drawn the knife across his son's
throat the angel Gabriel substituted a ram and Ishmael was saved,
and the festival commemorates this. As already stated, the Arabs
believe themselves to be descended from Ishmael or Ismail. According
to a remarkable Hadis or tradition, related by Ayesha, Muhammad said:
"Man hath not done anything on the Id-ul-Zoha more pleasing to God
than spilling blood in sacrifice; for, verily, its blood reacheth
the acceptance of God before it falleth upon the ground, therefore
be joyful in it." [323] On this day, as on the other Id, the people
assemble for prayers at the Id-Gah. On returning home the head of a
family takes a sheep, cow or camel to the entrance of his house and
sacrifices it, repeating the formula, 'In the name of God, God is
great,' as he cuts its throat. The flesh is divided, two-thirds being
kept by the family and one-third given to the poor in the name of
God. This is the occasion on which Muhammadans offend Hindu feeling
by their desire to sacrifice cows, as camels are unobtainable or
too valuable, and the sacrifice of a cow has probably more religious
merit than that of a sheep or goat. But in many cases they abandon
their right to kill a cow in order to avoid stirring up enmity.

22. Mosques.

The entrance to a Muhammadan mosque consists of a stone gateway,
bearing in verse the date of its building; this leads into a paved
courtyard, which in a large mosque may be 40 or 50 yards long and
about 20 wide. The courtyard often contains a small tank or cistern
about 20 feet square, its sides lined with stone seats. Beyond this
lies the building itself, open towards the courtyard, which is on its
eastern side, and closed in on the other three sides, with a roof. The
floor is raised about a foot above the level of the courtyard. In
the back wall, which is opposite the courtyard to the west in the
direction of Mecca, is an arched niche, and close by a wooden or
masonry pulpit raised four or five feet from the ground. Against
the wall is a wooden staff, which the preacher holds in his hand
or leans upon according to ancient custom. [324] The walls are bare
of decorations, images and pictures having been strictly prohibited
by Muhammad, and no windows are necessary; but along the walls are
scrolls bearing in golden letters the name of the Prophet and the
first four Caliphs, or a chapter of the Koran, the Arabic script
being especially suitable for this kind of ornamental writing. [325]
The severe plainness of the interior of a mosque demonstrates the
strict monotheism of Islam, and is in contrast to the temples and
shrines of most other religions. The courtyard of a mosque is often
used as a place of resort, and travellers also stay in it.

23. The Friday service.

A service is held in the principal mosque on Fridays about midday, at
which public prayers are held and a sermon or _khutbak_ is preached or
recited. Friday is known as Jumah, or the day of assembly. Friday was
said by Muhammad to have been the day on which Adam was taken into
paradise and turned out of it, the day on which he repented and on
which he died. It will also be the day of Resurrection. The Prophet
considered that the Jews and Christians had erred in transferring
their Sabbath from Friday to Saturday and Sunday respectively. [326]

24. Priests, Mulla and Maulvi.

The priest in charge of a mosque is known as Mulla. Any one can be a
Mulla who can read the Koran and say the prayers, and the post is very
poorly paid. The Mulla proclaims the call to prayer five times a day,
acts as Imam or leader of the public prayers, and if there is no menial
servant keeps the mosque clean. He sometimes has a little school in the
courtyard in which he teaches children the Koran. He also sells charms,
consisting of verses of the Koran written on paper, to be tied round
the arm or hung on the neck. These have the effect of curing disease
and keeping off evil spirits or the evil eye. Sometimes there is a
mosque servant who also acts as sexton of the local cemetery. The funds
of the mosque and any endowment attached to it are in charge of some
respectable resident, who is known as Mutawalli or churchwarden. The
principal religious officer is the Maulvi, who corresponds to the
Hindu Guru or preceptor. These men are frequently intelligent and
well-educated. They are also doctors of law, as all Muhammadan law
is based on the Koran and Traditions and the deductions drawn from
them by the great commentators. The Maulvi thus acts as a teacher of
religious doctrine and also of law. He is not permanently attached
to a mosque, but travels about during the open season, visiting
his disciples in villages, teaching and preaching to them, and also
treating the sick. If he knows the whole of the Koran by heart he
has the title of Hafiz, and is much honoured, as it is thought that
a man who has earned the title of Hafiz frees twenty generations of
his ancestors and descendants from the fires of hell. Such a man is
much in request during the month of Ramazan, when the leader of the
long night prayers is expected to recite nightly one of the thirty
sections of the Koran, so as to complete them within the month. [327]

25. The Kazi.

The Kazi was under Muhammadan rule the civil and criminal judge,
having jurisdiction over a definite local area, and he also acted as
a registrar of deeds. Now he only leads the public prayers at the Id
festivals and keeps registers of marriages and divorces. He does not
usually attend marriages himself unless he receives a special fee, but
pays a deputy or _naib_ to do so. [328] The Kazi is still, however,
as a rule the leading member of the local Muhammadan community,
the office being sometimes elective and sometimes hereditary.

26. General features of Islam.

In proclaiming one unseen God as the sole supernatural being, Muhammad
adopted the religion of the Jews of Arabia, with whose sacred books
he was clearly familiar. He looked on the Jewish prophets as his
predecessors, he himself being the last and greatest. The Koran says,
"We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that
which was sent down unto Abraham, and Ishmael and Isaac, and Jacob,
and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses, and Jesus and
the prophets from the Lord, and we make no distinction between any
of them." Thus Muhammad accepted the bulk of the Old but not of the
New Testament, which the Jews also do not receive. His deity was the
Jewish Jehovah of the Old Testament, though called Allah after the name
of a god worshipped at Mecca. The six prophets who brought new laws
were Adam, the chosen of God; Noah, the preacher of God; Abraham, the
friend of God; Moses, one who conversed with God; Jesus, the Spirit
of God; and Muhammad, the Messenger of God. His seven heavens and
his prophecy of a Messiah and Day of Judgment were Jewish beliefs,
though it is supposed that he took the idea of the Sirat or narrow
bridge over the midst of hell, sharper than the edge of a sword,
over which all must pass, while the wicked fall from it into hell,
from Zoroastrianism. Muhammad recognised a devil, known as Iblis,
while the Jinns or Genii of pagan Arabia became bad angels. The great
difference between Islam and Judaism arose from Muhammad's position
in being obliged continually to fight for his own existence and
the preservation of his sect This circumstance coloured the later
parts of the Koran and gave Islam the character of a religious and
political crusade, a kind of faith eminently fitted to the Arab nature
and training. And to this character may be assigned its extraordinary
success, but, at the same time, probably the religion itself might have
been of a somewhat purer and higher tenor if its birth and infancy
had not had place in a constant state of war. Muhammad accomplished
most beneficent reforms in abolishing polytheism and such abuses as
female infanticide, and at least regulating polygamy. In forbidding
both gambling and the use of alcohol he set a very high standard to his
disciples, which if adhered to would remove two of the main sources of
vice. His religion retained fewer relics of the pre-existing animism
and spirit-worship than almost any other, though in practice uneducated
Indian Muhammadans, at least, preserve them in a large measure. And
owing to the fact that the Muhammadan months revolve round the year,
its festivals have been dissociated from the old pagan observances of
the changes of the sun and seasons and the growth of vegetation. At the
same time the religious sanction given to polygamy and slavery, and the
sensual nature of the heaven promised to true believers after death,
must be condemned as debasing features; and the divine authority and
completeness ascribed to the Koran and the utterances of the Prophet,
which were beyond criticism or question, as well as the hostility
towards all other forms of religion and philosophy, have necessarily
had a very narrowing influence on Muhammadan thought. While the formal
and lifeless precision of the religious services and prayers, as well
as the belief in divine interference in the concerns of everyday life,
have produced a strong spirit of fatalism and resignation to events.

27. The Koran.

The word Kuran is derived from _kuraa_, to recite or proclaim. The
Muhammadans look upon the Koran as the direct word of God sent down
by Him to the seventh or lowest heaven, and then revealed from time to
time to the Prophet by the angel Gabriel. A few chapters are supposed
to have been delivered entire, but the greater part of the book was
given piecemeal during a period of twenty-three years. The Koran
is written in Arabic prose, but its sentences generally conclude
in a long-continued rhyme. The language is considered to be of the
utmost elegance and purity, and it has become the standard of the
Arabic tongue. Muhammadans pay it the greatest reverence, and their
most solemn oath is taken with the Koran placed on the head. Formerly
the sacred book could only be touched by a Saiyad or a Mulla, and an
assembly always rose when it was brought to them. The book is kept on a
high shelf in the house, so as to avoid any risk of contamination, and
nothing is placed over it. Every chapter in the Koran except one begins
with the invocation, '_Bismillah-nirrahman-nirrahim_,' or 'In the name
of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful'; and nearly all Muhammadan
prayers and religious writings also begin with this. As the Koran is
the direct word of God, any statement in it has the unquestioned and
complete force of law. On some points, however, separate utterances
in the work itself are contradictory, and the necessity then arises of
determining which is the later and more authoritative statement. [329]

28. The Traditions.

Next to the Koran in point of authority come the Traditions of
the sayings and actions of the Prophet, which are known as Hadis or
Sunnah. These were eagerly collected as the jurisdiction of Islam was
extended, and numerous cases arose for decision in which no ruling
was provided by the Koran. For some time it was held necessary that a
tradition should be oral and not have been reduced to writing. When
the necessity of collecting and searching for the Traditions became
paramount, indefatigable research was displayed in the work. The most
trustworthy collection of traditions was compiled by Abu Abdullah
Muhammad, a native of Bokhara, who died in the Hijra year 256, or
nearly 250 years after Muhammad. He succeeded in amassing no fewer than
600,000 traditions, of which he selected only 7275 as trustworthy. The
authentic traditions of what the Prophet said and did were considered
practically as binding as the Koran, and any case might be decided by
a tradition bearing on it. The development of Moslem jurisdiction was
thus based not on the elucidation and exposition of broad principles
of law and equity, but on the record of the words and actions of
one man who had lived in a substantially less civilised society than
that existing in the countries to which Muhammadan law now came to be
applied. Such a state of things inevitably exercised a cramping effect
on the Moslem lawyers and acted as a bar to improvement. Thus, because
the Koran charged the Jews and Christians with having corrupted the
text of their sacred books, it was laid down that no Jew or Christian
could be accepted as a credible witness in a Moslem lawsuit; and since
the Prophet had forbidden the keeping of dogs except for certain
necessary purposes, it was ruled by one school that there was no
property in dogs, and that if a man killed a dog its owner had no
right to compensation. [330]

29. The schools of law.

After the Koran and Traditions the decisions of certain lawyers during
the early period of Islam were accepted as authoritative. Of them
four schools are recognised by the Sunnis in different countries,
those of the Imams Abu Hanifa, Shafei, Malik, and Hambal. In northern
India the school of Abu Hanifa is followed. He was born at Kufa,
the capital of Irak, in the Hijra year 80, when four of the Prophet's
Companions were still alive. He is the great oracle of jurisprudence,
and with his two pupils was the founder of the Hanifi code of law. In
southern India the Shafei school is followed. [331] The Shiahs have
separate collections of traditions and schools of law, and they say
that a Mujtahid or doctor of the law can still give decisions of
binding authority, which the Sunnis deny. Except as regards marriage,
divorce and inheritance and other personal matters, Muhammadan law
is of course now superseded by the general law of India.

30. Food.

An animal only becomes lawful food for Muhammadans if it is killed by
cutting the throat and repeating at the time the words, '_Bismillah
Allaho Akbar_,' or 'In the name of God, God is great.' But in shooting
wild animals, if the invocation is repeated at the time of discharging
the arrow or firing the gun, the carcase becomes lawful food. This
last rule of Sunni law is, however, not known to, or not observed by,
many Muhammadans in the Central Provinces, who do not eat an animal
unless its throat is cut before death. Fish and locusts may be eaten
without being killed in this manner. The animal so killed by Zabh
is lawful food when slain by a Moslem, Jew or Christian, but not if
slaughtered by an idolater or an apostate from Islam. Cloven-footed
animals, birds that pick up food with their bills, and fish with
scales are lawful, but not birds or beasts of prey. It is doubtful
whether the horse is lawful. Elephants, mules, asses, alligators,
turtles, crabs, snakes and frogs are unlawful, and swine's flesh
is especially prohibited. Muhammadans eat freely of mutton and fish
when they can afford it, but some of them abstain from chickens in
imitation of the Hindus. Their favourite drink is sherbet, or sugar
and water with cream or the juice of some fruit. Wine is forbidden in
the Koran, and the prohibition is held to include intoxicating drugs,
but this latter rule is by no means observed. According to his religion
a Muhammadan need have no objection to eat with a Christian if the
food eaten is of a lawful kind; but he should not eat with Hindus,
as they are idolaters. In practice, however, many Muhammadans have
adopted the Hindu rule against eating food touched by Christians,
while owing to long association together they will partake of it when
cooked by Hindus. [332]

31. Dress.

The most distinctive feature of Muhammadan dress is that the men
always wear trousers or pyjamas of cotton, silk or chintz cloth,
usually white. They may be either tight or loose below the knee, and
are secured by a string round the waist. A Muhammadan never wears the
Hindu _dhoti_ or loin-cloth. He has a white, sleeved muslin shirt,
made much like an English soft-fronted shirt, but usually without a
collar, the ends of which hang down outside the trousers. Over these
the well-to-do have a waistcoat of velvet, brocade or broadcloth. On
going out he puts on a long coat, tight over the chest, and with
rather full skirts hanging below the knee, of cotton cloth or muslin,
or sometimes broadcloth or velvet. In the house he wears a small cap,
and on going out puts on a turban or loose headcloth. But the fashion
of wearing the small red fez with a tassel is now increasing among
educated Muhammadans, and this serves as a distinctive mark in their
dress, which trousers no longer do, as the Hindus have also adopted
them. The removal of the shoes either on entering a house or mosque
is not prescribed by Muhammadan law, though it has become customary in
imitation of the Hindus. The Prophet in fact said, 'Act the reverse of
the Jews in your prayers, for they do not pray in boots or shoes.' But
he himself sometimes took his shoes off to pray and sometimes not. The
following are some of the sayings of the Prophet with regard to dress:
'Whoever wears a silk garment in this world shall not wear it in the
next.' 'God will not have compassion on him who wears long trousers
(below the ankle) from pride.' 'It is lawful for the women of my
people to wear silks and gold ornaments, but it is unlawful for the
men.' 'Wear white clothes, because they are the cleanest and the most
agreeable, and bury your dead in white clothes.' Men are prohibited
from wearing gold ornaments and also silver ones other than a signet
ring. A silver ring, of value sufficient to produce a day's food in
case of need, should always be worn. The rule against ornaments has
been generally disregarded, and gold and silver ornaments have been
regularly worn by men, but the fashion of wearing ornaments is now
going out, both among Muhammadan and Hindu men. A rich Muhammadan woman
has a long shirt of muslin or net in different colours, embroidered
on the neck and shoulders with gold lace, and draping down to the
ankles. Under it she wears silk pyjamas, and over it an _angia_
or breast-cloth of silk, brocade or cloth of gold, bordered with
gold and silver lace. On the head she has a shawl or square kerchief
bordered with lace. A poor woman has simply a bodice and pyjamas,
with a cloth round the waist to cover their ends. Women as a rule
always wear shoes, even though they do not go out, and they have a
profusion of ornaments of much the same character as Hindu women. [333]

32. Social rules. Salutations.

There are certain social obligations known as Farz or imperative, but
if one person in eight or ten perform them it is as if all had done
so. These are, to return a salutation; to visit the sick and inquire
after their welfare; to follow a bier on foot to the grave; to accept
an invitation; and that when a person sneezes and says immediately,
'_Alhamd ul lillah_' or 'God be praised,' one of the party must reply,
'_Yar hamak Allah_' or 'God have mercy on you.' The Muhammadan form
of salutation is '_Salam u alaikum_' or 'The peace of God be with
you,' and the reply is '_Wo alaikum as salam_' or 'And on you also
be peace.' [334] From this form has come the common Anglo-Indian use
of the word _Salaam_.

When invitations are to be sent for any important function, such as
a wedding, some woman who does not observe _parda_ is employed to
carry them. She is dressed in good clothes and provided with a tray
containing betel-leaf _biras_ or packets, cardamoms wrapped in red
paper, sandalwood and sugar. She approaches any lady invited with
great respect, and says: "So-and-so sends her best compliments to
you and embraces you, and says that 'as to-morrow there is a little
gaiety about to take place in my house, and I wish all my female
friends by their presence to grace and ornament with their feet the
home of this poor individual, and thereby make it a garden of roses,
you must also positively come, and by remaining a couple of hours
honour my humble dwelling with your company.'" If the invitation is
accepted the woman carrying it applies a little sandalwood to the neck,
breast and back of the guest, puts sugar and cardamoms into her mouth,
and gives her a betel-leaf. If it is declined, only sandalwood is
applied and a betel-leaf given. [335]

Next day _dhoolies_ or litters are sent for the guests, or if the
hostess is poor she sends women to escort them to the house before
daybreak. The guests are expected to bring presents. If any ceremony
connected with a child is to be performed they give it clothes
or sweets, and similar articles of higher value to the bride and
bridegroom in the case of a wedding.

33. Customs.

Certain customs known as Fitrah are supposed to have existed among the
Arabs before the time of the Prophet, and to have been confirmed by
him. These are: To keep the moustache clipped short so that food or
drink cannot touch them when entering the mouth; not to cut or shave
the beard; to clean the teeth with a _mismak_ or wooden toothbrush;
this should really be done at all prayers, but presumably once or
twice a day are held sufficient; to clean the nostrils and mouth with
water at the time of the usual ablutions; to cut the nails and clean
the finger-joints; and to pull out the hair from under the armpits and
the pubic hair. It is noticeable that though elaborate directions are
given for washing the face, hands and feet before each prayer, there
is no order to bathe the whole body daily, and this may probably not
have been customary in Arabia owing to the scarcity of water. [336]
And while many Muhammadans have adopted the Hindu custom of daily
bathing, yet others in quite a respectable position have not, and
only bathe once a week before going to the mosque. Gambling as well
as the drinking of wine is prohibited in the Koran according to the
text: "O believers! Surely wine and games of chance and statues and
the divining-arrows are an abomination of Satan's work." Statues
as well as pictures were prohibited, because at this time they were
probably made only as idols to be worshipped, the prohibition being
exactly analogous to that contained in the Second Commandment. The
Koran enjoins a belief in the existence of magic, but forbids its
practice. Magic is considered to be of two kinds, that accomplished
with the help of the Koran and the names of prophets and saints, which
is divine or good, and evil magic practised with the aid of genii and
evil spirits which is strongly condemned. Divining-rods apparently
belong to the latter class. Perfection in divine magic consists in the
knowledge of the Ismi Aazam or Great Name, a knowledge first possessed
by the prophet Sulaiman or Solomon, and since Solomon transmitted only
to those who are highly favoured by Providence. This appears to be the
true name of God, which is too awful and potent to be known or used by
the commonalty; hence Allah, really an epithet, is used instead. It
was in virtue of engraving the great name on his ring that Solomon
possessed dominion over men and genii, and over the winds and birds and
beasts. The uttering of Solomon's own name casts out demons, cures the
sick, and raises the dead. The names of certain prophets and holy men
have also a special virtue, and written charms of mysterious numerical
combinations and diagrams have power for good. [337] Both kinds of
magic are largely practised by Muhammadans. Muhammad disapproved of
whistling, apparently because whistling and clapping the hands were
part of the heathen ritual at Mecca. Hence it is considered wrong
for good Muhammadans to whistle. [338]

34. Position of women.

The inferior status of women in Islam is inherited from Arabian
society before the time of Muhammad. Among the pagan Arabs a woman
was a mere chattel, and descended by inheritance. Hence the union of
men with their step-mothers and mothers-in-law was common. Muhammad
forbade these incestuous marriages, and also the prevalent practice
of female infanticide. He legalised polygamy, but limited it to four
wives, and taught that women as well as men could enter paradise. It
would have been quite impossible to abolish polygamy in Arabia at the
time when he lived, nor could he strike at the practice of secluding
women even if he had wished to do so. This last custom has shown an
unfortunate persistence, and is in full force among Indian Muhammadans,
from whom the higher castes of Hindus in northern India have perhaps
imitated it. Nor can it be said to show much sign of weakening at
present. It is not universal over the Islamic world, as in Afghanistan
women are not usually secluded. As a matter of fact both polygamy and
divorce are very rare among Indian Muhammadans. Mr. Hughes quotes an
interesting passage against polygamy from a Persian book on marriage
customs: "That man is to be praised who confines himself to one wife,
for if he takes two it is wrong and he will certainly repent of his
folly. Thus say the seven wise women:

    Be that man's life immersed in gloom
    Who weds more wives than one,
    With one his cheeks retain their bloom,
    His voice a cheerful tone;
    These speak his honest heart at rest,
    And he and she are always blest;
    But when with two he seeks his joy,
    Together they his soul annoy;
    With two no sunbeam of delight
    Can make his day of misery bright."

Adultery was punished by stoning to death in accordance with the
Jewish custom.

35. Interest on money.

Usury or the taking of interest on loans was prohibited by the
Prophet. This precept was adopted from the Mosaic law and emphasised,
and while it has to all appearance been discarded by the Jews, it is
still largely adhered to by Moslems. In both cases the prohibition was
addressed to a people in the pastoral stage of culture when loans were
probably very rare and no profit could as a rule be made by taking
a loan, as it would not lead to any increase. Loans would only be
made for subsistence, and as the borrower was probably always poor,
he would frequently be unable to pay the principal much less the
interest, and would ultimately become the slave of the creditor in
lieu of his debt. Usury would thus result in the enslavement of a
large section of the free community, and would be looked upon as an
abuse and instrument of tyranny. As soon as the agricultural stage is
reached usury stands on a different footing. Loans of seed for sowing
the land and of cattle or money for ploughing it then become frequent
and necessary, and the borrower can afford to pay interest from the
profit of the harvest. It is clearly right and proper also that the
lender should receive a return for the risk involved in the loan and
the capacity of gain thus conferred on the borrower, and usury becomes
a properly legitimate and necessary institution, though the rate, being
probably based on the return yielded by the earth to the seed, has a
tendency to be very excessive in primitive societies. The prohibition
of interest among Muhammadans is thus now a hopeless anachronism,
which has closed to those who observe it some of the most important
professions. A tendency is happily visible towards the abrogation of
the rule, and Mr. Marten notes that the Berar Muhammadan Council has
set an example by putting out its own money at interest. [339]

36. Muhammadan education.

The Indian Muhammadans have generally been considered to be at a
disadvantage in modern India as compared with the Hindus, owing to
their unwillingness to accept regular English education for their
sons, and their adherence to the simply religious teaching of their
own Maulvis. However this may have been in the past, it is doubtful
whether it is at all true of the present generation. While there is
no doubt that Muhammadans consider it of the first importance that
their sons should learn Urdu and be able to read the Koran, there
are no signs of Muhammadan boys being kept away from the Government
schools, at least in the Central Provinces. The rationalising spirit
of Sir Saiyad Ahmad, the founder of the Aligarh College, and the
general educational conference for Indian Muhammadans has, through the
excellent training given by the College, borne continually increasing
fruit. A new class of educated and liberal-minded Muhammadan gentlemen
has grown up whose influence on the aims and prejudices of the whole
Muhammadan community is gradually becoming manifest. The statistics
of occupation given at the commencement of this article show that the
Muhammadans have a much larger share of all classes of administrative
posts under Government than they would obtain if these were awarded on
a basis of population. Presumably when it is asserted that Muhammadans
are less successful than Hindus under the British Government, what is
meant is that they have partly lost their former position of the sole
governing class over large areas of the country. The community are
now fully awake to the advantages of education, and their Anjumans or
associations have started high schools which educate students up to
the entrance of the university on the same lines as the Government
schools. Where these special schools do not exist, Muhammadan boys
freely enter the ordinary schools, and their standard of intelligence
and application is in no way inferior to that of Hindu boys.


1. Account of the sect.

_Nanakpanthi [340] Sect, Nanakshahi, Udasi, Suthra Shahi_.--The
Nanakpanthi sect was founded by the well-known Baba Nanak, a Khatri
of the Lahore District, who lived between 1469 and 1538-39. He is the
real founder of Sikhism, but this development of his followers into
a military and political organisation was the work of his successors,
Har Govind and Govind Singh. Nanak himself was a religious reformer of
the same type as Kabir and others, who tried to abolish the worship of
idols and all the body of Hindu superstition, and substitute a belief
in a single unseen deity without form or special name. As with most of
the other Vaishnava reformers, Nanak's creed was largely an outcome
of his observation of Islam. "There is nothing in his doctrine," Sir
E.D. Maclagan says, "to distinguish it in any marked way from that of
the other saints who taught the higher forms of Hinduism in northern
India. The unity of God, the absence of any real distinction between
Hindus and Musalmans, the uselessness of ceremonial, the vanity of
earthly wishes, even the equality of castes, are topics common to
Nanak and the Bhagats; and the Adi-Granth or sacred book compiled by
Nanak is full of quotations from elder or contemporary teachers, who
taught essentially the same doctrine as Nanak himself." It was partly,
he explains, because Nanak was the first reformer in the Punjab, and
thus had the field practically to himself, and partly in consequence
of the subsequent development of Sikhism, that his movement has been
so successful and his adherents now outnumber those of any other
reformer of the same period. Nanak's doctrines were also of a very
liberal character. The burden of his teaching was that there is no
Hindu and no Muhammadan. He believed in transmigration, but held that
the successive stages were but purifications, and that at last the
soul, cleansed from sin, went to dwell with its maker. He prescribed
no caste rules or ceremonial observances, and indeed condemned them as
unnecessary and even harmful; but he made no violent attack on them,
he insisted on no alteration in existing civil and social institutions,
and was content to leave the doctrine of the equality of all men in
the sight of God to work in the minds of his followers. He respected
the Hindu veneration of the cow and the Muhammadan abhorrence of the
hog, but recommended as a higher rule than either total abstinence
from flesh. Nothing could have been gentler or less aggressive than
his doctrine, nothing more unlike the teaching of his great successor
Govind. [341] Two other causes contributed to swell the numbers of
the Nanakpanthis. The first of these was that during the late Mughal
Empire the Hindus of the frontier tracts of the Punjab were debarred
by the fanaticism of their Muhammadan neighbours from the worship of
idols; and they therefore found it convenient to profess the faith
of Nanak which permitted them to declare themselves as worshippers
of one God, while not forcing them definitely to break with caste and
Hinduism. The second was that Guru Govind Singh required the absolute
abandonment of caste as a condition of the initiation of a Sikh;
and hence many who would not consent to this remained Nanakpanthis
without adopting Sikhism. The Nanakpanthis of the present day are
roughly classified as Sikhs who have not adopted the term Singh,
which is attached to the names of all true Sikhs; they also do not
forbid smoking or insist on the adoption of the five _Kakkas_ or K's
which are in theory the distinguishing marks of the Sikh; the _Kes_
or uncut hair and unshaven beard; the _Kachh_ or short drawers ending
above the knee; the _Kara_ or iron bangle; the _Khanda_ or steel knife;
and the _Kanga_ or comb. The Nanakpanthi retains the Hindu custom of
shaving the whole head except the _choti_ or scalp-lock, and hence is
often known as a Munda or shaven Sikh. [342] The sect do not prohibit
the consumption of meat and liquor, but some of them eat only the
flesh of animals killed by the Sikh method of Jatka, or cutting
off the head by a blow on the back of the neck. Their only form of
initiation is the ordinary Hindu practice of drinking the foot-nectar
or sugar and water in which the toe of the _guru_ has been dipped,
and this is not very common. It is known as the _Charan ka pahul_ or
foot-baptism, as opposed to the _Khande ka pahul_ or sword-baptism of
the Govindi Sikhs. [343] Baba Nanak himself, Sir E. Maclagan states,
is a very favourite object of veneration among Sikhs of all kinds,
and the picture of the _guru_ with his long white beard and benevolent
countenance is constantly met with in the sacred places of the Punjab.

2. Nanakpanthis in the Central Provinces.

In 1901 about 13,000 persons returned themselves as Nanakpanthis in
the Central Provinces, of whom 7000 were Banjaras and the remainder
principally Kunbis, Ahirs and Telis. The Banjaras generally revere
Nanak, as shown in the article on that caste. A certain number of
Mehtars or sweepers also profess the sect, being attached to it,
as to the Sikh religion, by the abolition of caste restrictions
and prejudices advocated by their founders; but this tolerance has
not been perpetuated, and the unclean classes, such as the Mazbi or
scavenger Sikhs, are as scrupulously avoided and kept at a distance
by the Sikh as by the Hindu, and are even excluded from communion,
and from the rites and holy places of their religion. [344]

3. Udasis.

The Udasis are a class of ascetics of the Nanakpanthi or Sikh faith,
whose order was founded by Sri Chand, the younger son of Nanak. They
are recruited from all castes and will eat food from any Hindu. They
are almost all celibates, and pay special reverence to the Adi-Granth
of Nanak, but also respect the Granth of Govind Singh and attend
the same shrines as the Sikhs generally. Their service consists of a
ringing of bells and blare of instruments, and they chant hymns and
wave lights before the Adi-Granth and the picture of Baba Nanak. In
the Central Provinces members of several orders which have branched
off from the main Nanakpanthi community are known as Udasi. Thus some
of them say they do not go to any temples and worship Nirankal or
the deity without shape or form, a name given to the supreme God by
Nanak. In the Punjab the Nirankaris constitute a separate order from
the Udasis. [345] These Udasis wear a long rope of sheep's wool round
the neck and iron chains round the wrist and waist. They carry half
a cocoanut shell as a begging-bowl and have the _chameta_ or iron
tongs, which can also be closed and used as a poker. Their form of
salutation is '_Matha Tek_,' or 'I put my head at your feet.' They
never cut their hair and have a long string of wool attached to the
_choti_ or scalp-lock, which is coiled up under a little cap. They
say that they worship Nirankal without going to temples, and when
they sit down to pray they make a little fire and place _ghi_ or
sweetmeats upon it as an offering. When begging they say 'Alakh,'
and they accept any kind of uncooked and cooked food from Brahmans.

4. Suthra Shahis.

Another mendicant Nanakpanthi order, whose members visit the Central
Provinces, is that of the Suthra Shahis. Here, however, they often
drop the special name, and call themselves simply Nanakshahi. The
origin of the order is uncertain, and Sir E. Maclagan gives various
accounts. Here they say that their founder was a disciple of Nanak,
who visited Mecca and brought back the Seli and Syahi which are their
distinctive badges. The Seli is a rope of black wool which they tie
round their heads like a turban, and Syahi the ink with which they draw
a black line on their foreheads, though this is in fact usually made
with charcoal. They carry a wallet in which these articles are kept,
and also the two small ebony sticks which they strike against each
other as an accompaniment to their begging-songs. The larger stick is
dedicated to Nanak and the smaller to the Goddess Kali. They are most
importunate beggars, and say that the privilege of levying a pice
(farthing) was given to them by Aurangzeb. They were accustomed in
former times to burn their clothes and stand naked at the door of
any person who refused to give them alms. They also have a _bahi_
or account-book in which the gifts they receive, especially from
Banias, are recorded. Mr. Crooke states that "They indulge freely
in intoxicants and seldom cease from smoking. Their profligacy is
notorious, and they are said to be composed mainly of spendthrifts
who have lost their wealth in gambling. They are recruited from all
castes and always add the title Shah to their names. A proverb says
in allusion to their rapacity:

    Kehu mare, Kehu jiye,
    Suthra gur batasa piye;

or, 'Others may live or die, but the Suthra Shahi must have his drink
of sugar and water.' [346]

Parmarthi Sect

_Parmarthi Sect_.--A Vishnuite sect of which 26,000 persons were
returned as members in the census of 1901. Nearly all of these
belonged to the Uriya State of Kalahandi, since transferred to Bihar
and Orissa. The following account of the sect has been furnished by
Rai Bahadur Panda Baijnath, formerly Diwan of Kalahandi State.

This sect penetrated the State from the Orissa side, and seems to
belong to Bengal. In the beginning it consisted only in pure devotion
to the worship of Krishna, but later it has been degraded by sexual
indulgence and immorality, and this appears to be the main basis of
its ritual at present. Outwardly its followers recite the Bhagavad Gita
and pretend to be persons of very high morals. Their secret practices
were obtained from one of his officials who had entered the sect in
the lowest grade. On the day of initiation there is a great meeting
of members at the cost of the neophyte. A text is taught to him, and
the initiation is completed by all the members partaking together
of a feast without distinction of caste. The food eaten at this is
considered to be Mahaprasad, or as if offered to Vishnu in his form
of Jagannath at Puri, and to be therefore incapable of defilement. The
_mantra_ or text taught to the disciple is as follows:

    O Hari, O Krishna, O Hari, O Krishna,
    O Krishna, O Krishna, O Hari, O Hari,
    O Hari, O Ramo, O Hari, O Ramo,
    O Ramo, O Ramo, O Hari, O Hari.

The disciple is enjoined to repeat this text a prescribed number
of times, 108 or more, every day. To those pupils who show their
devotional ardour by continual repetition of the first text others
are taught.

The next step is that the disciple should associate himself or herself
with some other Parmarthi of the opposite sex and tend and serve
them. This relation, which is known as _Asra-patro_, cannot exist
between husband and wife, some other person having to be chosen in each
case, and it results of course in an immoral connection. Following
this is the further rite of _Almo-Samarpana_ or offering of oneself,
in which the disciple is required to give his wife to the Guru or
preceptor as the acme of self-sacrifice. The _guru_ calls the disciple
by a female name of one of the milkmaids of Brindaban to indicate
that the disciple regards Krishna with the same devotion as they
did. Sometimes the _guru_ and a woman personate Krishna and Radha,
but reverse the names, the _guru_ calling himself Radha and the woman
Krishna. The other disciples wait upon and serve them, and they perform
an immoral act in public. Parmarthi women sometimes have the _mantra_
or text, 'O Hari, O Krishna,' tattooed on their breasts.

The Parmarthis often deny the accusation of immorality, and the above
statements may not be true of all of them; but they are believed to be
true as regards a considerable part of the sect at any rate. "With all
his cleanliness, vegetarianism and teetotalism," one writer remarks,
"the Vaishnava is perhaps the most dangerous in the whole list of
Hindu sects. He has done very good service in civilising the lower
classes to some extent and in suppressing the horrors of the Tantric
worship. But the moral laxity which the Vaishnava encourages by the
stories of the illicit loves between the God and Goddess, and by
the strong tendency to imitate them which his teachings generate,
outweigh the good done by him." This statement applies, however,
principally to one or two sects devoted to Krishna, and by no means
to all nor to the majority of the Vaishnava sects.

Parsi or Zoroastrian Religion

[_Bibliography of works quoted_: Dr. Martin Haug's _Essays on the
Parsis_, Truebner's Oriental Series; _Bombay Gazetteer_, vol. ix. part
ii., _Parsis of Gujarat_. by the late Mr. Kharsedji Nasarvanji Seervai,
J.P., and Khan Bahadur Bamanji Behramji Patel; M. Salomon Reinach's
_Orpheus_; Rev. J. Murray Mitchell's _Great Religions of India_. The
whole account of the customs and social life of the Parsis is taken
from the excellent description in the _Bombay Gazetteer_.]

List of Paragraphs

     1. _Introductory_.
     2. _The Zoroastrian religion_.
     3. _The Zend-Avesta._
     4. _The Zend-Avesta and the Vedas_.
     5. _Reasons for the schism between the Persian and Indian
     6. _The dual principle and the conflict between good and
     7. _The dual principle derived from the antagonism of light
        and darkness_.
     8. _The Zoroastrians in Persia_.
     9. _Their migration to India and settlement there_.
    10. _Their wealth and prosperity_.
    11. _Marriage customs_.
    12. _Religion_. _Worship of fire_.
    13. _The Homa liquor_.
    14. _Parsi priests_.
    15. _The sacred shirt and cord_.
    16. _Disposal of the dead_.
    17. _Previous exposure of the dead, and migration of souls_.
    18. _Clothes, food and ceremonial observances_.

1. Introductory.

The number of Parsis in the Central Provinces in 1911 was about
1800. They are immigrants from Bombay, and usually reside in large
towns, where they are engaged in different branches of trade,
especially in the manufacture and vend of liquor and the management
of cotton mills and factories. [347] The word Parsi means a resident
of the province of Fars or Pars in Persia, from which the name of
the country is also derived.

2. The Zoroastrian religion.

Also known as Mazdaism, the Zoroastrian religion was that of
the ancient Magi or fire-worshippers of Persia, mentioned in
Scripture. It is supposed that Zoroaster or Spitama Zarathustra,
if he was a historical personage, effected a reformation of this
religion and placed it on a new basis at some time about 1100 B.C. It
is suggested by Haug [348] that Zarathustra was the designation of
the high priests of the cult, and Spitama the proper name of that
high priest who carried out its distinctive reformation, and perhaps
separated the religion of the Persian from the Indian Aryans. This
would account for the fact that the sacred writings, which, according
to the testimony of Greek and Roman authors, were of great extent,
their compilation probably extending over several centuries, were
subsequently all ascribed to one man, or to Zarathustra alone. The
Zend-Avesta or sacred book of the Parsis does not mention the fire
priests under the name of Magi, but calls them Athravan, the same
word as the Sanskrit Atharva-Veda. The reason for this, M. Reinach
suggests, is that the Magi had rebelled against Cambyses, the son of
Cyrus, in the sixth century B.C., during his absence in Egypt, and
placed a rival creature of their own on the throne. Darius, the son
of Hystaspes, overthrew him and re-established the Persian kingdom
in 523 B.C., and this may have discredited the Magian priests and
caused those of the reformed religion to adopt a new name. [349]
It is certain that Cyrus conformed to the precept of the Avesta
against the pollution of the sacred element water, when he diverted
the course of the river Gyndanes in order to recover the body of a
horse which had been drowned in it, and that Darius I. invokes in his
inscriptions Ormazd or Ahura Mazda, the deity of the Avesta. [350]
On the subversion of the Persian empire by Alexander, and the
subsequent conquest of Persia by the Arsacid Parthian dynasty, the
religion of the fire-worshippers fell into neglect, but was revived
on the establishment of the Sassanian dynasty of Ardeshir Babegan
or Artaxerxes in A.D. 226, and became the state religion, warmly
supported by its rulers, until the Arab conquest in A.D. 652. It
was at the beginning of this second period of prosperity that the
Zend-Avesta as it still exists was collected and reduced to writing,
but it is thought that the greater part of the remains of the ancient
texts recovered at the time were again lost during the Arab invasion,
as the original literature is believed to have been very extensive.

3. The Zend-Avesta.

The language of the Zend-Avesta is the ancient east Iranian or
Bactrian dialect, which probably died out finally in the third
century B.C., modern Persian being descended from the west Iranian
or Median tongue. The Bactrian language of the Zend-Avesta is, Haug
states, a genuine sister of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and Gothic. "The
relationship of the Avesta language to the most ancient Sanskrit,
the so-called Vedic dialect, is as close as that of the different
dialects of the Greek language, Aeolic, Ionic, Doric or Attic,
to each other. The languages of the sacred hymns of the Brahmans,
and of those of the Parsis, are only the two dialects of two separate
tribes of one and the same nation. As the Ionians, Dorians, Aetolians,
etc., were different tribes of the Greek nation whose general name was
Hellenes, so the ancient Brahmans and Parsis were two tribes of the
nation which is called Aryas both in the Veda and Zend-Avesta." [351]
The sections of the Zend-Avesta which remain are about equal in
size to the Bible. They consist of sacrificial hymns, prayers and
accounts of the making of the world, in the form of conversations
between Ahura Mazda and Zoroaster. The whole arrangement is, however,
very fragmentary and chaotic, and much of the matter is of a trivial
character. It cannot be compared in merit with the Old Testament.

4. The Zend Avesta and the Vedas.

A cuneiform inscription discovered in the centre of Asia Minor
at Ptorium proves that about 1400 B.C. certain tribes who had
relations with the Hittite empire had for their deities Mitra,
Indra, Varuna and the Nasatyas. The first two names are common to
the Persian and Indian Aryans, while the last two are found only
in India. It appears then that at this time the ancestors of the
Hindus and Iranians were not yet separated. [352] Certain important
contrasts between the ancient Zoroastrian and Vedic religions have
led to the theory that the separation was the result of a religious
and political schism. The words Deva and Asura have an exactly
opposite significance in the two religions. Deva [353] is the term
invariably used for the gods of the Hindus in the whole Vedic and
Brahmanical literature. In the Zend-Avesta, on the other hand, Deva
(Pers. _div_) is the general name of an evil spirit, a fiend, demon
or devil, who is inimical to all that is good and comes from God. The
part of the Avesta called the Vendidad, consisting of a collection
of spells and incantations, means _vi-daevo-data_ or given against
the Devas or demons. The Devas, Dr. Haug states, are the originators
of all that is bad, of every impurity, of death; and are constantly
thinking of causing the destruction of the fields and trees, and of
the houses of religious men. "Asura, occurring as Ahura in the first
part of Ahura-Mazda (Hormazd), is the name of God among the Parsis;
and the Zoroastrian religion is distinctly called the Ahura religion,
in strict opposition to the Deva religion. But among the Hindus Asura
has assumed a bad meaning, and is applied to the bitterest enemies
of their Devas (gods), with whom the Asuras are constantly waging
war. This is the case throughout the whole Puranic literature and
as far back as the later parts of the Vedas; but in the older parts
of the Rig-Veda Sanhita we find the word Asura used in as good and
elevated a sense as in the Zend-Avesta. The chief gods, such as Indra,
Varuna, Agni, Savitri, Rudra or Siva, are honoured with the epithet
'Asura,' which means 'living, spiritual,' and signifies the divine
in its opposition to human nature.

"In a bad sense we find Asura only twice in the older parts of the
Rig-Veda, in which passages the defeat of the 'sons or men of the
Asura' is ordered or spoken of; but we find the word more frequently in
this sense in the last book of the Rig-Veda (which is only an appendix
to the whole made in later times), and in the Atharva-Veda, where the
Rishis are said to have frustrated the tricks of the Asuras and to have
the power of putting them down. In the Brahmanas or sacrificial books
belonging to each of the Vedas we find the Devas always fighting with
the Asuras. The latter are the constant enemies of the Hindu gods,
and always make attacks upon the sacrifices offered by devotees. To
defeat them, all the craft and cunning of the Devas were required;
and the means of checking them was generally found in a new sacrificial
rite." [354]

Professor Haug adduces other arguments in this connection from
resemblance of metres. Again the principal Vedic God, Indra, is
included in the list of Devas or demons in the Zoroastrian scripture,
the Vendidad. Siva and the Nasatyas or Ashvins, the divine horsemen
of the Vedas, are also said to be found in the list of Devas or
demons. Others of the Vedic gods as Mitra the sun, Aryaman, either
another name for the sun or his constant associate and representative,
Vayu the wind, and one or two more are found as Yazatas or angels in
the Zend-Avesta. [355]

5. Reasons for the schism between the Persian and Indian Aryans.

Professor Haug's suggestion as to the cause of the schism between
the Iranian and Indian branches of the Aryans is very interesting. He
thinks that the Aryan tribes after they had left their original home,
which was in all likelihood a cold country, led mainly a pastoral
life, and cultivated only occasionally some patches of land for their
own support. But when they arrived in the tract between the Oxus and
Jaxartes rivers, and the highlands of Bactria, which were suitable for
permanent settlement, certain of them, who were the ancestors of the
Iranian branch, forsook the pastoral life of their ancestors and became
agriculturists. Others, the ancestors of the Indian Aryans, retained
their nomadic habits, and took to the practice of making predatory
incursions into the territories of the settled communities. Hence
arose a bitter hostility between them; and as the success of the
raiders was attributed to their religious spells and incantations, and
especially to the consumption of the Soma liquor under the auspices of
the God Indra, this part of their joint religion became hateful to the
Iranians and led to the founding of the reformed Zoroastrian religion,
in which special stress is laid on the virtue obtained from bringing
land under cultivation, making enclosures and permanent settlements
and protecting agricultural cattle. This is forcibly expressed in
the saying, 'He who cultivates barley cultivates righteousness,' and
others. [356] Finally the nomadic tribes left the common residence
in the Central Asian highlands and migrated into India. It is not
certain that scholars generally accept the above hypothesis.

6. The dual principles and the conflict between good and evil.

The most prominent feature of the religion of Zarathustra is the
dual principle of good and evil and the conflict between them. Ahura
Mazda is the supreme deity, the creator of the world, and Ahriman or
Angro Mainyush is the evil one, his constant opponent. A perpetual
struggle proceeds between them, extending over the whole of creation,
and will continue for a period of 12,000 years. The virtuous lives and
prayers and sacrifices of men help the cause of Ahura Mazda, while
every bad action and all kinds of ceremonial impurity constitute an
assistance rendered by them to Ahriman. Not only virtue, courage,
charity humility and kindness to animals, when displayed by men,
are held to reinforce Ahura Mazda, but also such useful acts as
cleaning a field for cultivation, digging a canal or building a
bridge. The animals are also divided into good and bad, the latter
being considered the creation of Ahriman and designated the seed of
the serpent. The bad animals include tigers, snakes, cats, wolves,
frogs, mice, ants and others, and to kill them is to perform a
virtuous act in the cause of Ahura Mazda. Among good animals dogs
and agricultural cattle appear to be the chief. The division is very
imperfect, and it would seem that the classification does not extend
to birds and fish. Most trees are good, but their bark is evil. Hail,
snow and all kinds of diseases are believed to be the work of Ahriman
and his evil spirits. [357] As all ceremonial impurity renders
assistance to the evil one, the Parsis are very careful in such
matters, as will be noticed subsequently. Ahura Mazda is assisted
in his struggle for the good by six Amesha-Spentas or good spirits,
who are something like archangels. They consist of the spirits of
cattle, fire, metals, the earth, health and immortality. With the
first four of these some moral quality or attribute as truth, wisdom
and the curing of diseases is now associated. Another great spirit
Sraosha is the judge of the dead. Similarly Ahriman is assisted by six
arch-fiends and a whole host of evil spirits (Deva and Druj) of all
kinds, against whom men have to be perpetually on their guard. One
of the principal bad spirits is Aeshma Deva, the roaring demon, who
appears to be the Asmodeus mentioned in the Apocrypha. At the end
of the period of struggle Ahura Mazda will engage in a final contest
with Ahriman and will conquer with the help of the Archangel Sraosha,
who will overcome the demon Aeshma. A virgin will then conceive and
bring forth the second Zoroaster as a Messiah, who will cause the
resurrection of the dead. The good will be separated from the bad,
but the punishment of the latter will not be eternal; and after the
purification of the world by a general conflagration all humanity will
unite in the adoration of Ahura Mazda. [358] Meanwhile after death
the souls of all men are weighed and have to pass over a narrow bridge
called Chinvad. The good souls, lightened by the absence of sin, find
it a broad and easy path to heaven, while to the bad ones, weighed
down with their sins, it becomes narrow as a razor's edge, and they
fall over into hell. M. Salomon Reinach points out that their beliefs
have several points of resemblance with those of Judaism, but it is
not easy to say which religion has borrowed from the other. [359] The
word paradise, according to Dr. Haug, comes from _pairidaesa_ in the
Zend-Avesta and means a park or beautiful garden protected by a fence.

7. The dual principle derived from the antagonism of light and

It is noticeable that Ahura Mazda is considered as luminous and good,
and Ahriman as gloomy and bad. Ahura Mazda, according to Darmesteter,
can be traced back to Asura, the supreme god of Indo-Iranian times,
and is the representative of Varuna, Zeus or Jupiter, that is the sky
or heavens. Similarly Ahura Mazda is described in the Zend-Avesta
as righteous, brilliant, glorious, the originator of the spirit
of nature, of the luminaries and of the self-shining brightness
which is in the luminaries. Again he is the author of all that is
bright and shining, good and useful in nature, while Ahriman called
into existence all that is dark and apparently noxious. Both are
complementary as day and night, and though opposed to each other,
are indispensable for the preservation of creation. The beneficent
spirit appears in the blazing flame, the presence of the hurtful one
is marked by the wood converted into charcoal. Ahura Mazda created the
light of day and Ahriman the darkness of night; the former awakens men
to their duties and the latter lulls them to sleep. These features
of the good and evil spirits seem to point to the conclusion that
the original antithesis which is portrayed in the conflict between
the principles of good and evil is that of night and day or darkness
and light. The light of day and all that belongs to it is good, and
the darkness of night and that which belongs to it evil. As already
seen, Ahura Mazda is considered to be equivalent to Varuna or Zeus,
that is the god of the sky or heavens. Originally it seems likely
that this deity also comprised the sun, but afterwards the sun was
specialised, so to speak, into a separate god, perhaps in consequence
of a clearer recognition of his distinctive attributes and functions
in nature. Thus in the Zoroastrian religion Mithra became the special
sun-god, and may be compared with Vishnu and Surya in India and Apollo
in Greece. In the Avesta the sun is addressed as the king. [360]
Ahura Mazda speaks of the sun-deity Mithra as follows to Zoroaster:
"I created Mithra, who rules over large fields, to be of the same
rank and dignity as I myself am (for purposes of worship)." The only
visible emblem of Ahura Mazda worshipped by the Parsis is fire, and it
would seem that the earthly fire, which is called Ahura Mazda's son,
is venerated as the offspring and representative of the heavenly
fire or the sun. Thus Ahura Mazda may have been originally an old
god of the heavens, and may have become the abstract spirit of light
from whom the sun in turn was derived. If, as is now supposed, the
original home of the Aryan race was somewhere in northern Europe,
whence the Iranian and Indian branches migrated to the east, the
religious tenets of the Parsis may perhaps have arisen from the
memory of this journey. Their veneration of fire would be more easily
understood if it was based on the fact that they owed their lives to
this element during their wanderings across the steppes of eastern
Europe. The association of cold, darkness and snow with Ahriman or
the evil one supports this hypothesis. Similarly among the Indian
Aryans the god of fire was one of the greatest Vedic gods, and fire
was essential to the preservation of life in the cold hilly regions
beyond the north-west of India. But in India itself fire is of far
less importance and Agiri has fallen into the background in modern
Hinduism, except for the domestic reverence of the hearth-fire. But
Zoroastrianism has preserved the old form of its religion without
change. The narrow bridge which spans the gulf leading to heaven
and from which the wicked fall into hell, may have originally been
suggested by the steep and narrow passes by which their ancestors
must have crossed the mountain ranges lying on their long journey,
and where, no doubt, large numbers had miserably perished; while their
paradise, as already seen, was the comparatively warm and fertile
country to which they had so hardly attained, where they had learnt
to grow corn and where they wanted to stay thenceforth and for ever.

8. The Zoroastrians in Persia.

In Persia itself the Zoroastrian faith is now almost extinct, but
small colonies still survive in the towns of Yezd and Kerman. They are
in a miserable and oppressed condition and are subjected to various
irritating restrictions, as being forbidden to make wind towers to
their houses for coolness, to wear spectacles or to ride horses. In
1904 their number was estimated at 9000 persons. [361]

9. Their migration to India and settlement there.

The migration of the Parsis to India dates from the Arab conquest
of Persia in A.D. 638-641. The refugees at first fled to the hills,
and after passing through a period of hardship moved down to the
coast and settled in the city of Ormuz. Being again persecuted, a
party of them set sail for India and landed in Gujarat. There were
probably two migrations, one immediately after the Arab conquest in
641, and the second from Ormuz as described above in A.D. 750. Their
first settlement was at Sanjan in Gujarat, and from here they spread to
various other cities along the coast. During their period of prosperity
at Sanjan they would seem to have converted a large section of the
Hindu population near Thana. The first settlers in Gujarat apparently
took to tapping palm trees for toddy, and the Parsis have ever since
been closely connected with the liquor traffic. The Portuguese writer
Garcia d'Orta (A.D. 1535) notices a curious class of merchants and
shopkeepers, who were called Coaris, that is Gaurs, in Bassein, and
Esparis or Parsis in Cambay. The Portuguese called them Jews; but they
were no Jews, for they were uncircumcised and ate pork. Besides they
came from Persia and had a curious written character, strange oaths
and many foolish superstitions, taking their dead out by a special
door and exposing the bodies till they were destroyed. In 1578, at
the request of the Emperor Akbar, the Parsis sent learned priests
to explain to him the Zoroastrian faith. They found Akbar a ready
listener and taught him their peculiar rites and ceremonies. Akbar
issued orders that the sacred fire should be made over to the charge
of Abul Fazl, and that after the manner of the kings of Persia, in
whose temples blazed perpetual fires, Abul Fazl should take care that
the sacred fire was never allowed to go out either by night or day,
for that it was one of the signs of god and one light from among the
many lights of his creation. Akbar, according to Portuguese accounts,
was invested with the sacred shirt and girdle, and in return granted
the Gujarat priest Meherji Rana an estate near Naosari, where his
descendants have ever since been chief priests. [362]

10. Their wealth and prosperity.

The Parsis had begun to settle in Bombay under the Portuguese
(A.D. 1530-1666). One of them, Dorabji Nanabhai, held a high position
in the island before its transfer to the British in the latter year,
and before the end of the seventeenth century several more families,
of whom the Modis, Pandes, Banajis, Dadiseths and Vadias were among
the earliest, settled in the island. To the Gujarat Parsis more
than to any class of native merchants was due the development of the
trade of Bombay, especially with China. Though many Parsis came to
Bombay, almost all continued to consider Surat or Naosari their home;
and after its transfer to the British in 1759 the Surat Parsis rose
greatly in wealth and position. They became the chief merchants of
Surat, and their leading men were the English, Portuguese and Dutch
brokers. Shortly afterwards, owing to the great development of the
opium and cotton trade with China, the Parsis made large profits in
commerce both at Surat and Bombay. After the great fire at Surat in
1857 Bombay became the headquarters of the Parsis, and since then has
had as permanent settlers the largest section of the community. The
bulk of the native foreign trade fell into their hands, and the very
great liberality of some of the leading Parsis has made their name
honourable. They secured a large share of the wealth that was poured
into western India by the American War and the making of railways,
and have played a leading part in starting and developing the great
factory industry of Bombay. Many of the largest and best managed mills
belong to Parsis, and numbers of them find highly paid employment as
mechanical engineers, and weaving, carding and spinning masters. Broach
ranks next to Bombay in the prosperity of its Parsis; they deal
extensively in cotton, timber, fuel and the manufacture of spirit
from the flowers of the mahua tree. [363] From the Bombay Presidency
the Parsis have spread to other parts of India, following the same
avocations; they are liquor and timber contractors, own and manage
weaving mills and ginning factories, and keep shops for retailing
European stores, and are the most prosperous and enterprising section
of the native population. Two Parsis have become members of Parliament,
and others have risen to distinction in Government service, business
and the professions. The sea-face road in Bombay in the evening,
thronged with the carriages and motor-cars of Parsi men and ladies, is
strong testimony to the success which the ability and industry of this
race have achieved under the encouragement of peace, the protection
of property and the liberty to trade. Though they have a common Aryan
ancestry and their religion is so closely connected with Hinduism,
the Parsis feel themselves a race alien to the Hindus and probably
have no great sympathy with them. Their wealth and position have been
mainly obtained under British rule, and the bulk of them are believed
to be its warm adherents. The Parsis now make no proselytes, and no
regular provision exists for admitting outsiders to their religion,
though it is believed that, in one or two cases, wives taken from
outside the community have been admitted. They object strongly to
the adoption of any other religion, such as Christianity, by members
of their body. The Parsis are notable for the fact that their women
are very well educated and appear quite freely in society. This is
a comparatively recent reform and may be ascribed to the English
example, though the credit they deserve for having broken through
prejudice and tradition is in no way diminished on that account. The
total number of Parsis in India in 1911 was just 100,000 persons.

11. Marriage customs.

Polygamy among the Parsis has been forbidden by the Parsi Marriage
and Divorce Act of 1865. The remarriage of widows is allowed but
is celebrated at midnight. If a bachelor is to marry a widow, he
first goes through a sham rite with the branch of a tree, as among
the Hindus. Similarly before the wedding the bride and bridegroom
are rubbed with turmeric, and for the ceremony a marriage-shed
is erected. At a feast before the wedding one of the women beats a
copper dish and asks the ancestral spirits to attend, calling them by
name. Another woman comes running in, barking like a dog. The women
drive her away, and with fun and laughing eat all the things they can
lay their hands on. Prior to the rite the bride and bridegroom are
purified in the same manner as when invested with the sacred shirt
and cord. The bridegroom wears a long white robe reaching to his
ankles and a white sash round his waist; he has a garland of flowers
round his neck, a red mark on his forehead, and carries a bunch of
flowers and a cocoanut in his right hand. At every street corner
on his way to the bride's home a cocoanut is waved round his head,
broken and thrown away. He sets his right foot in the house first,
and as he enters rice and water are thrown under his feet and an egg
and cocoanut are broken. At the wedding the couple throw rice on each
other, and it is supposed that whoever is quickest in throwing the
rice will rule the other. They are then seated side by side, and two
priests stand before them with a witness on each side, holding brass
plates full of rice. The two priests pronounce the marriage blessing in
old Persian and Sanskrit, at each sentence throwing rice on the bride's
and bridegroom's heads. At intervals in the midst of the blessing the
bridegroom and bride are asked in Persian, 'Have you chosen her?' and
'Have you chosen him?' They answer in Persian, or if they are too
young their mothers answer for them, 'I have chosen.' [364]

12. Religion. Worship of fire.

The religious ritual of the Parsis consists of the worship of fire. The
fire temples are of a single storey and contain three rooms. On
reaching the outer hall the worshipper washes his face, hands and
feet, and recites a prayer. Then, carrying a piece of sandalwood and
some money for the officiating priest, he passes to the inner hall,
in which a carpet is spread. He takes off his shoes and rings one of
four brass bells hanging at the corners of the room. The priest also
rings one of these bells at each watch when he performs worship. He
then proceeds to the threshold of the central fire-room, kneels there,
and again standing begins to recite prayers. None may enter the
fire-room except the priests. Here the fire is kept always blazing
in a silver or copper urn on a solid stone pedestal, and is fed day
and night with sandal and other commoner woods. A priest is always
present, dressed in long white robes, his hands covered with white
cloths and his face veiled. The worshipper lays down his offering of
sandalwood at the entrance, and the priest takes it up with a pair
of tongs, and gives him some ashes from the urn in a silver or brass
ladle. These the worshipper rubs on his forehead and eyebrows. On
concluding his prayers, which are in the Avesta language, he walks
backward to where he left his shoes and goes home. A Parsi man never
allows his hearth fire to go out, and if he changes his residence he
carries it with him to the next place of abode.

13. The Homa liquor.

Like the Hindus, the Iranian ancestors of the Parsis revered the
sacred liquor made from the Soma or Homa plant. It was considered
a panacea for all diseases, and many stories about the miraculous
effects obtained from drinking the juice are contained in a hymn of
the Zend-Avesta composed in its honour. According to Dr. Mitchell [365]
the offering of Homa is still made at Parsi temples, though apparently
some substitute must have been obtained for the original plant, which
does not grow in the plains of India. At any rate the offering and
sacrificial drinking of the liquor were probably continued so long
as the Parsis remained in Persia. As this is a comparatively cool
country, the bad effects of alcohol did not perhaps become apparent to
the Parsis as they did to the Hindus in the plains of India, and hence
the sanctity attaching to the liquor underwent no similar decline. From
this it perhaps results that the Parsis have no feeling at all against
alcohol, and drink it for pleasure, like Europeans. Both the toddy of
the date-palm and mahua spirit are freely consumed at their feasts,
while the rich members of the community drink European wines and
spirits. As any dealing in alcohol is practically prohibited to
high-caste Hindus and also to Muhammadans, and low-caste Hindus have
hitherto scarcely ever been literate, the Parsis on account of this
peculiarity have found a profitable opening in the wholesale liquor
trade, and until recently have had very little effective competition
to face. This is perhaps a reason for their special addiction to it,
and also for their engaging in the sale of European stores and wines.

14. Parsi priests.

The Parsi priests form a hereditary caste, and are all supposed to be
descended from one Shapur Sheheriar, who with his sons and grandsons,
one of whom translated the Zend-Avesta into Sanskrit, are believed
to have been among the first Parsi settlers of the priestly caste at
Sanjan in north Thana. The training of a priest consists of learning
substantial portions of the Zend-Avesta by heart, and in going through
elaborate ceremonies of purification, in which the drinking of _nerang_
and _nerangdin_, or cow's and bull's urine, being bathed, chewing
pomegranate leaves and rubbing the same urine and sand on his body
are leading features. Priests always dress in white and wear a full
beard. They must never shave the head or face, and never allow the head
to be bare nor wear coloured clothes. If a priest's turban happens to
fall off, or if he travels by rail or sea, his state of purity ends,
and he must go through the whole ceremony of purification again and
pass nine days in retreat at a temple. [366] The principal business
of a priest, as already seen, is the tending of the sacred fire in
the temples, and he also conducts marriage and other ceremonies.

15. The sacred shirt and cord.

Parsi boys and girls are received into the Zoroastrian faith between
the ages of seven and nine. The child is purified by being bathed,
sipping bull's urine and chewing a pomegranate leaf, and makes the
profession of belief in the faith. He or she is then invested with
the sacred shirt, _sadra_, and the sacred cord or thread called
_kusti_. The shirt is of thin muslin, with short sleeves and falling
a little below the hip. The sacred cord is of wool, and can be made
only by the wives and daughters of Parsi priests. [367]

16. Disposal of the dead.

The Parsi method of exposing the dead in Dakhmas or towers of
silence to be devoured by vultures has often been described. It has
objectionable features, and the smaller communities in the interior
of India do not as a rule erect towers of silence, and are content
simply to bury the dead. It seems probable that the original custom
was simply to expose the dead on waste land, the towers of silence
being a substitute which became necessary when the Parsis began to live
in towns. This hypothesis would explain some points in their funeral
customs recorded in the _Bombay Gazetteer_. The dead body is washed,
dressed in an old clean cloth and laid on the floor of the house,
the space being marked off. If the floor is of earth the surface of
this enclosed space is broken up. If the floor is of cement or stone
one or two stone slabs are set on it and the body laid on them; it
is never laid on a wooden floor, nor on stone slabs placed on such a
floor. The space where the body was laid is marked off, and is not used
for a month if the death occurs between the eighth and twelfth months
of the year, and for ten days if the death occurs between the first
and seventh months. The last are said to be the hottest months. [368]
It would appear that these rules are a reminiscence of the time when
the body was simply exposed. It was then naturally always laid on
earth or rock, and never on wood, hence the prohibition of a wooden
floor. The fact that the spot where the body is now laid in the house
is held impure for a shorter period during the summer months may be
explained on the ground that all traces of the decaying corpse, after
it had been devoured by wild animals and vultures, would have been
dried up by the sun more quickly at this time than during the winter
months. In the latter period, as the process would take longer, the
place in the home is similarly held impure for a month, as against
ten days in summer, though at present neither the sun nor weather
can possibly affect a site inside the house. The fact that when the
floor is of earth the site for the corpse is broken up may indicate
that it was formerly laid on rough waste ground, and not on a floor
beaten smooth, though it might also be simply a means of avoiding
contamination of the floor. But if this was the object it would be
simpler to avoid letting the body come into contact with the floor at
all. The corpse may still be wrapped in an old cloth because it was
originally exposed in the cloth worn at death. The body is carried
to the tower on an iron bier by special bearers; if the journey is a
long one a bullock cart may be used, but in this case the cart must
be broken up and the pieces buried near the tower. Before the funeral
starts a number of priests attend at the house and recite the prayers
for the dead. During the service a dog is brought in to look on the
face of the dead. The mourners follow in the usual manner, and on
arrival at the tower the bearers alone take the corpse inside and lay
it naked on one of the slabs, which are built in circular terraces in
the interior. The mourners must be purified at the tower by pouring
a little cow's urine into their hands, and on returning home they
wash their face and hands, and recite a prayer before entering the
house. They must bathe and have their clothes washed before these
are again used. When a married man dies his widow breaks her glass
bangles and wears only metal bracelets, and so long as she remains
a widow she takes no part in any festal celebrations. Every morning
for three days after a death rice is cooked and laid in the veranda
for dogs to eat. No other food is cooked in the house of death,
the family being supplied by their friends. During these three days
prayers are said for the dead several times a day by priests, and
kinsmen pay short visits of condolence. On the third day a meeting
is held in the house and prayers are said for the dead; trays of
flowers and burning incense are placed before the spot where the body
lay, and a list of charitable gifts made by the family in memory of
the dead man is read. On the fourth day a feast is held specially
for priests, and friends are also asked to join in it. A little of
the food cooked on this day is sent to all relations and friends,
who make a point of eating or at least of tasting it. On the tenth
and thirtieth days after death, and on monthly anniversaries for the
first year, and subsequently on annual anniversaries, ceremonies in
honour of the dead are performed. [369]

17. Previous exposure of the dead, and migration of souls.

Some of these customs are peculiar and interesting. It has been seen
that for three days the home is impure, and no food is cooked in it
except what is given to dogs; and since on the third day offerings
are made on the spot where the body lay, it seems to be supposed
that the dead man's spirit is still there. On the fourth day is the
funeral feast, in which all relations and friends join, and after
this the house becomes pure, it being presumably held that the dead
man's spirit has taken its departure. For these three days food is
cooked in the house and given to dogs, and immediately after the
man is dead a dog is brought in to look at his face. It has been
suggested that the manner of laying out the body recalls the time
when it was simply exposed. But when it was exposed the body would
have been devoured principally by dogs and vultures, and the customs
connected with dogs seem to arise from this. The cooked food given
to dogs for three days is perhaps a substitute for the flesh of the
dead man which they would have eaten, and the display of the body to
a dog is in substitution for its being devoured by these animals, who
now that it is exposed in a tower of silence no longer have access
to it. It has further been seen how during the marriage rites,
after an invitation has been issued to the ancestors to attend,
a woman comes in barking like a dog. The other women drive her away
and laughingly eat everything they can lay their hands on, perhaps
in imitation of the way dogs devour their food. This custom seems to
indicate that the Parsis formerly believed that the spirits of their
ancestors went into the dogs which devoured their bodies, a belief
which would be quite natural to primitive people. Such a hypothesis
would explain the peculiar customs mentioned, and also the great
sanctity which the Parsis attach to dogs. On the same analogy they
should apparently also have believed that the spirits of ancestors
went into vultures; but it is not recorded that they show any special
veneration for these birds, though it must be almost certain that
they do not kill them. The explanation given for the custom of the
exposure of the dead is that none of the holy elements, earth, fire
or water, can be polluted by receiving dead bodies. But, as already
stated, towers of silence cannot be a primitive institution, and the
bodies in all probability were previously exposed on the ground. The
custom of exposure probably dates from a period prior to the belief
in the extreme sanctity of the earth. It may have been retained in
order that the spirits of ancestors might find a fresh home in the
animals which devoured their bodies; and some platform, from which
the towers of silence subsequently developed, may have been made to
avoid defilement of the earth; while in after times this necessity
of not defiling the earth and other elements might be advanced as a
reason justifying the custom of exposure.

18. Clothes, food and ceremonial observances.

Parsi men usually wear a turban of dark cloth spotted with white,
folded to stand up straight from the forehead, and looking somewhat as
if it was made of pasteboard. This is very unbecoming, and younger men
often abandon it and simply wear the now common felt cap. They usually
have long coats, white or dark, and white cotton trousers. Well-to-do
Parsi women dress very prettily in silks of various colours. The men
formerly shaved the head, either entirely, or leaving a scalp-lock
and two ear-locks. But now many of them simply cut their hair short
like the English. They wear whiskers and moustaches, but with the
exception of the priests, not usually beards. Neither men nor women
ever put off the sacred shirt or the thread. They eat the flesh only
of goats and sheep among animals, and also consume fish, fowls and
other birds; but they do not eat a cock after it has begun to crow,
holding the bird sacred, because they think that its crowing drives
away evil spirits. If Ahura Mazda represented the sun and the light
of day, the cock, the herald of the dawn, might be regarded as his
sacred bird. Sometimes when a cock or parrot dies the body is wrapped
in a sacred shirt or thread and carefully buried. Palm-juice toddy is
a favourite drink at almost all meals in Gujarat, and mahua spirit
is also taken. Parsis must never smoke, as this would be derogatory
to the sacred element fire. [370]

Saiva, Shaiva, Sivite Sect

_Saiva, Shaiva, Sivite Sect_.--The name given to Hindus who
venerate Siva as their special god. Siva, whose name signifies
'The Propitious,' is held to have succeeded to the Vedic god Rudra,
apparently a storm-god. Siva is a highly composite deity, having the
double attributes of destroyer and creator of new life. His heaven,
Kailas, is in the Himalayas according to popular belief. He carries
the moon on his forehead, and from the central one of his three eyes
the lightning flashes forth. He has a necklace of skulls, and snakes
are intertwined round his waist and arms. And he has long matted hair
(_jata_), from which the Ganges flows. It seems likely that the matted
locks of the god represent the snow on the Himalayas, as the snow is
in reality the source of the Ganges; the snow falling through the air
and covering the peaks of the mountains might well suggest the hair
of a mountain-god; and this interpretation seems to be accepted in
Mr. Bain's _In the Great God's Hair_. Siva has thus three components
from which the idea of death might be derived: First, his residence on
the Himalaya mountains, the barren, lifeless region of ice and snow,
and the cause of death to many pilgrims and travellers who ventured
into it. Secondly, he is the god of the moon, and hence of darkness
and night, which are always associated with death. In this light he
might well be opposed to Vishnu, the god of the sun and day, and the
source of growth and life; their association as the two supreme deities
representing the preservation and destruction of life, would thus,
to some extent, correspond to the conflict of good and bad deities
representing light and darkness among the Zoroastrians. Thirdly,
Siva is a snake-god, and the sudden death dealt out by the poisonous
snake has always excited the greatest awe among primitive people. The
cobra is widely revered in India, and it is probably this snake which
is associated with the god. In addition the lightning, a swift,
death-dealing power, is ascribed to Siva, and this may have been
one of his earliest attributes, as it was probably associated with
his Vedic prototype Rudra. Whether Siva obtained his character as a
god of destruction from one only of the above associations, or from
a combination of them, is probably not known. Two great forces lend
the deity his character of a god of reproduction, the bull and the
phallic emblem. The bull tills the soil and renders it fertile and
capable of bringing forth the crops which form the sustenance of
mankind; while the phallic emblem is worshipped as the instrument
of generation. It is believed that there is a natural tendency to
associate these two objects, and to ascribe to the bull the capacity
of inducing human fertility as well as the increase of the earth. It
is in these two attributes that Siva is worshipped in the rural tract;
he is represented by the emblem referred to standing on a circular
grooved stone, which is the _yoni_, and in front of him is a stone
bull. And he is revered almost solely as a beneficent deity under
the name of Mahadeo or the Great God. Thus his dual qualities of
destruction and reproduction appear to be produced by the combination
in him of different objects of worship; the Himalayas, the moon,
the cobra and the lightning on the one hand, and the bull and the
emblem of regeneration on the other. Other interesting characteristics
of Siva are that he is the first and greatest of ascetics and that
he is immoderately addicted to the intoxicating drugs _ganja_ and
_bhang_, the preparations of Indian hemp. It may be supposed that
the god was given his character as an ascetic in order to extend
divine sanction and example to the practice of asceticism when it
came into favour. And the drugs, [371] first revered themselves
for their intoxicating properties, were afterwards perpetuated in
a sacred character by being associated with the god. Siva's throat
is blue, and it is sometimes said that this is on account of his
immoderate consumption of _bhang_. The _nilkanth_ or blue-jay, which
was probably venerated for its striking plumage, and is considered to
be a bird of very good omen, has become Siva's bird because its blue
throat resembles his. His principal sacred tree is the _bel_ tree,
[372] which has trifoliate leaves, and may have been held sacred
on this account. The practice of Sati or the self-immolation of
widows has also been given divine authority by the story that Sati
was Siva's first wife, and that she committed suicide because she
and her husband were not invited to Daksha's sacrifice. [373] Siva's
famous consort is the multiform Devi, Kali or Parvati, of whom some
notice is given elsewhere. [374] The cult of Siva has produced the
important Sakta sect, who, however, venerate more especially the
female principle of energy as exemplified in his consort. [375]
Another great sect of southern India, the Lingayats, worship him in
the character of the _lingam_ or phallic emblem, and are noticeable
as being a Sivite sect who have abolished caste. The Sivite orders
of Gosains or Dasnamis and Jogis also constitute an important feature
of Hinduism. All these are separately described. Apart from them the
Hindus who call themselves Saivas because they principally venerate
Siva, do not appear to have any very special characteristics, nor
to be markedly distinguished from the Vaishnavas. They abstain from
the consumption of flesh and liquor, and think it objectionable to
take life. Their offerings to the god consist of flowers, the leaves
of the _bel_ tree which is sacred to him, and ripe ears of corn,
these last being perhaps intended especially for the divine bull. The
sect-mark of the Saivas consists of three curved lines horizontally
drawn across the forehead, which are said to represent the _tirsul_
or trident of the god. A half-moon may also be drawn. The mark is
made with Ganges clay, sandalwood, or cowdung cakes, these last being
considered to represent the disintegrating force of the deity. [376]

Sakta, Shakta Sect

_Sakta, Shakta Sect_.--The name of a Hindu sect, whose members worship
the female principle of energy, which is the counterpart of the god
Siva. The metaphysical ideas of Saktism are thus described by Sir
Edward Gait: [377]

"Saktism is based on the worship of the active producing principle,
Prakriti, as manifested in one or other of the goddess wives of Siva
(Durga, Kali, Parvati) the female energy or Sakti of the primordial
male, Purusha or Siva. In this cult the various forces of nature are
deified under separate personalities, which are known as the divine
mothers or Matrigan. The ritual to be observed, the sacrifices to
be offered, and the _mantras_ or magic texts to be uttered, in order
to secure the efficacy of the worship and to procure the fulfilment
of the worshipper's desire, are laid down in a series of religious
writings known as Tantras. The cult is supposed to have originated
in East Bengal or Assam about the fifth century."

Dr. Bhattacharya states [378] that the practical essence of the Sakta
cult is the worship of the female organ of generation. According to a
text of the Tantras the best form of Sakti worship is to adore a naked
woman, and it is said that some Tantrics actually perform their daily
worship in their private chapels by placing before them such a woman. A
triangular plate of brass or copper may be taken as a substitute,
and such plates are usually kept in the houses of Tantric Brahmans. In
the absence of a plate of the proper shape a triangle may be painted
on a copper dish. In public the veneration of the Saktas is paid to
the goddess Kali. She is represented as a woman with four arms. In
one hand she has a weapon, in a second the hand of the giant she has
slain, and with the two others she is encouraging her worshippers. For
earrings she has two dead bodies, she wears a necklace of skulls,
and her only clothing is a garland made of men's skulls. In the Kalika
Puran [379] the immolation of human beings is recommended, and numerous
animals are catalogued as suitable for sacrifice. At the present time
pigeons, goats, and more rarely buffaloes, are the usual victims at
the shrine of the goddess. The ceremony commences with the adoration
of the sacrificial axe; various _mantras_ are recited, and the animal
is then decapitated at one stroke. As soon as the head falls to the
ground the votaries rush forward and smear their foreheads with the
blood of the victim. It is of the utmost importance that the ceremony
should pass off without any hitch or misadventure, [380] and special
services are held to supplicate the goddess to permit of this. If in
spite of them the executioner fails to sever the head of the animal at
one stroke, it is thought that the goddess is angry and that some great
calamity will befall the family in the next year. If a death should
occur within the period, they attribute it to the miscarriage of the
sacrifice, that is to the animal not having been killed with a single
blow. If any such misfortune should happen, Dr. Bhattacharya states,
the family generally determine never to offer animal sacrifices again;
and in this way the slaughter of animals, as part of the religious
ceremony in private houses, is becoming more and more rare. If a goat
is sacrificed, the head is placed before the goddess and the flesh
cooked and served to the invited guests; but in the case of a buffalo,
as respectable Hindus do not eat the flesh of this animal, it is given
to the low-caste musicians employed for the occasion. Wine is also
offered to the goddess, and after being consecrated is sprinkled on
every kind of uncooked food brought before her. But the worshipper
and his family often drink only a few drops. The Saktas are divided
into the Dakshinacharis and Bamacharis, or followers of the right-
and left-handed paths respectively. The Dakshinacharis have largely
abandoned animal sacrifices, and many of them substitute red flowers
or red sandalwood as offerings, to represent blood. An account of
those Bamacharis who carry sexual practices to extreme lengths, has
been given in the article on Vam-Margi. The sect-mark of the Saktas is
three horizontal lines on the forehead made with a mixture of charcoal
and butter. Some of them have a single vertical line of charcoal or
sandalwood. In the Central Provinces Sakta is a general term for a
Hindu who eats meat, as opposed to the Vaishnavas and Kabirpanthis,
who abjure it. The animals eaten are goats and chickens, and they
are usually sacrificed to the goddess Devi prior to being consumed
by the worshippers.


List of Paragraphs

    1. _Origin of the sect_.
    2. _Ghasi Das, founder of the Satnami sect_.
    3. _The message of Ghasi Das_.
    4. _Subsequent history of the Satnamis_.
    5. _Social profligacy_.
    6. _Divisions of the Satnamis_.
    7. _Customs of the Satnamis_.
    8. _Character of the Satnami movement_.

1. Origin of the sect.

_Satnami Sect_ [381] (A worshipper of the true name of God).--A
dissenting sect founded by a Chamar reformer in the Chhattisgarh
country of the Central Provinces. It is practically confined to members
of the Chamar caste, about half of whom belong to it. In 1901 nearly
400,000 persons returned themselves as adherents of the Satnami sect,
of whom all but 2000 were Chamars. The Satnami sect of the Central
Provinces, which is here described, is practically confined to the
Chhattisgarh plain, and the handful of persons who returned themselves
as Satnamis from the northern Districts are believed to be adherents of
the older persuasion of the same name in Northern India. The Satnami
movement in Chhattisgarh was originated by one Ghasi Das, a native of
the Bilaspur District, between A.D. 1820 and 1830. But it is probable
that Ghasi Das, as suggested by Mr. Hira Lal, got his inspiration
from a follower of the older Satnami sect of northern India. This
was inaugurated by a Rajput, Jagjiwan Das of the Bara Banki District,
who died in 1761. He preached the worship of the True Name of the one
God, the cause and creator of all things, void of sensible qualities
and without beginning or end. He prohibited the use of meat, lentils
(on account of their red colour suggesting blood) of the brinjal or
eggplant, which was considered, probably on account of its shape, to
resemble flesh, and of intoxicating liquors. The creed of Ghasi Das
enunciated subsequently was nearly identical with that of Jagjiwan Das,
and was no doubt derived from it, though Ghasi Das never acknowledged
the source of his inspiration.

2. Ghasi Das, founder of the Satnami sect.

Ghasi Das was a poor farmservant in Girod, a village formerly in
Bilaspur and now in Raipur, near the Sonakan forests. On one occasion
he and his brother started on a pilgrimage to the temple at Puri,
but only got as far as Sarangarh, whence they returned ejaculating
'_Satnam, Satnam_.' From this time Ghasi Das began to adopt the life
of an ascetic, retiring all day to the forest to meditate. On a rocky
hillock about a mile from Girod is a large _tendu_ tree (_Diospyros
tomentosa_) under which it is said that he was accustomed to sit. This
is a favourite place of pilgrimage of the Chamars, and two Satnami
temples have been built near it, which contain no idols. Once these
temples were annually visited by the successors of Ghasi Das. But at
present the head of the sect only proceeds to them, like the Greeks
to Delphi, in circumstances of special difficulty. In the course
of time Ghasi Das became venerated as a saintly character, and on
some miracles, such as the curing of snake-bite, being attributed to
him, his fame rapidly spread. The Chamars began to travel from long
distances to venerate him, and those who entertained desires, such
as for the birth of a child, believed that he could fulfil them. The
pilgrims were accustomed to carry away with them the water in which he
had washed his feet, in hollow bamboos, and their relatives at home
drank this, considering it was nectar. Finally, Ghasi Das retired
to the forests for a period, and emerged with what he called a new
Gospel for the Chamars; but this really consisted of a repetition of
the tenets of Jagjiwan Das, the founder of the Satnami sect of Upper
India, with a few additions. Mr. Chisholm [382] gave a graphic account
of the retirement of Ghasi Das to the Sonakan forests for a period of
six months, and of his reappearance and proclamation of his revelation
on a fixed date before a great multitude of Chamars, who had gathered
from all parts to hear him. An inquiry conducted locally by Mr. Hira
Lal in 1903 indicates that this story is of doubtful authenticity,
though it must be remembered that Mr. Chisholm wrote only forty
years after the event, and forty more had elapsed at the time of
Mr. Hira Lal's investigation. [383] Of the Chamar Reformer himself
Mr. Chisholm writes: [384] "Ghasi Das, like the rest of his community,
was unlettered. He was a man of unusually fair complexion and rather
imposing appearance, sensitive, silent, given to seeing visions,
and deeply resenting the harsh treatment of his brotherhood by the
Hindus. He was well known to the whole community, having travelled
much among them; had the reputation of being exceptionally sagacious
and was universally respected."

3. The message of Ghasi Das.

The seven precepts of Ghasi Das included abstinence from liquor, meat
and certain red vegetables, such as lentils chillies and tomatoes,
because they have the colour of blood, the abolition of idol worship,
the prohibition of the employment of cows for cultivation, and of
ploughing after midday or taking food to the fields, and the worship
of the name of one solitary and supreme God. The use of _taroi_ [385]
is said to have been forbidden on account of its fancied resemblance to
the horn of the buffalo, and of the brinjal [386] from its likeness to
the scrotum of the same animal. The prohibition against ploughing after
the midday meal was probably promulgated out of compassion for animals
and was already in force among the Gonds of Bastar. This precept is
still observed by many Satnamis, and in case of necessity they will
continue ploughing from early morning until the late afternoon without
taking food, in order not to violate it. The injunction against the
use of the cow for ploughing was probably a sop to the Brahmans,
the name of Gondwana having been historically associated with this
practice to its disgrace among Hindus. [387] The Satnamis were
bidden to cast all idols from their homes, but they were permitted
to reverence the sun, as representing the deity, every morning and
evening, with the ejaculation 'Lord, protect me.' Caste was abolished
and all men were to be socially equal except the family of Ghasi Das,
in which the priesthood of the cult was to remain hereditary.

4. Subsequent history of the Satnamis.

The creed enunciated by their prophet was of a creditable
simplicity and purity, of too elevated a nature for the Chamars
of Chhattisgarh. The crude myths which are now associated with the
story of Ghasi Das and the obscenity which distinguishes the ritual
of the sect furnish a good instance of the way in which a religion,
originally of a high order of morality, will be rapidly degraded to
their own level when adopted by a people who are incapable of living
up to it. It is related that one day his son brought Ghasi Das a fish
to eat. He was about to consume it when the fish spoke and forbade
him to do so. Ghasi Das then refrained, but his wife and two sons
insisted on eating the fish and shortly afterwards they died. [388]
Overcome with grief Ghasi Das tried to commit suicide by throwing
himself down from a tree in the forest, but the boughs of the tree
bent with him and he could not fall. Finally the deity appeared,
bringing his two sons, and commended Ghasi Das for his piety, at the
same time bidding him go and proclaim the Satnami doctrine to the
world. Ghasi Das thereupon went and dug up the body of his wife,
who arose saying '_Satnam._' Ghasi Das lived till he was eighty
years old and died in 1850, the number of his disciples being then
more than a quarter of a million. He was succeeded in the office of
high priest by his eldest son Balak Das. This man soon outraged the
feelings of the Hindus by assuming the sacred thread and parading
it ostentatiously on public occasions. So bitter was the hostility
aroused by him, that he was finally assassinated at night by a party
of Rajputs at the rest-house of Amabandha as he was travelling to
Raipur. The murder was committed in 1860 and its perpetrators were
never discovered. Balak Das had fallen in love with the daughter of
a Chitari (painter) and married her, proclaiming a revelation to the
effect that the next Chamar Guru should be the offspring of a Chitari
girl. Accordingly his son by her, Sahib Das, succeeded to the office,
but the real power remained in the hands of Agar Das, brother of Balak
Das, who married his Chitari widow. By her Agar Das had a son Ajab
Das; but he also had another son Agarman Das by a legitimate wife,
and both claimed the succession. They became joint high priests,
and the property has been partitioned between them. The chief _guru_
formerly obtained a large income by the contributions of the Chamars on
his tours, as he received a rupee from each household in the villages
which he visited on tour. He had a deputy, known as Bhandar, in many
villages, who brought the commission of social offences to his notice,
when fines were imposed. He built a house in the village of Bhandar
of the Raipur District, having golden pinnacles, and also owned the
village. But he has been extravagant and become involved in debt, and
both house and village have been foreclosed by his creditor, though
it is believed that a wealthy disciple has repurchased the house for
him. The golden pinnacles were recently stolen. The contributions
have also greatly fallen off.

Formerly an annual fair was held at Bhandar to which all the
Satnamis went and drank the water in which the _guru_ had dipped
his big toe. Each man gave him not less than a rupee and sometimes
as much as fifty rupees. But the fair is no longer held and now the
Satnamis only give the _guru_ a cocoanut when he goes on tour. The
Satnamis also have a fair in Ratanpur, a sacred place of the Hindus,
where they assemble and bathe in a tank of their own, as they are
not allowed to bathe in the Hindu tanks.

5. Social profligacy.

Formerly, when a Satnami Chamar was married, a ceremony called Satlok
took place within three years of the wedding, or after the birth of
the first son, which Mr. Durga Prasad Pande describes as follows:
it was considered to be the initiatory rite of a Satnami, so that
prior to its performance he and his wife were not proper members
of the sect. When the occasion was considered ripe, a committee of
men in the village would propose the holding of the ceremony to the
bridegroom; the elderly members of his family would also exert their
influence upon him, because it was believed that if they died prior to
its performance their disembodied spirits would continue a comfortless
existence about the scene of their mortal habitation, but if afterwards
that they would go straight to heaven. When the rite was to be held
a feast was given, the villagers sitting round a lighted lamp placed
on a water-pot in the centre of the sacred _chauk_ or square made
with lines of wheat-flour; and from evening until midnight they would
sing and dance. In the meantime the newly married wife would be lying
alone in a room in the house. At midnight her husband went in to her
and asked her whom he should revere as his _guru_ or preceptor. She
named a man and the husband went out and bowed to him and he then
went in to the woman and lay with her. The process would be repeated,
the woman naming different men until she was exhausted. Sometimes,
if the head priest of the sect was present, he would nominate the
favoured men, who were known as _gurus_. Next morning the married
couple were seated together in the courtyard, and the head priest or
his representative tied a _kanthi_ or necklace of wooden beads round
their necks, repeating an initiatory text. [389] This silly doggerel,
as shown in the footnote, is a good criterion of the intellectual
capacity of the Satnamis. It is also said that during his annual
progresses it was the custom for the chief priest to be allowed
access to any of the wives of the Satnamis whom he might select,
and that this was considered rather an honour than otherwise by the
husband. But the Satnamis have now become ashamed of such practices,
and, except in a few isolated localities, they have been abandoned.

6. Divisions of the Satnamis.

Ghasi Das or his disciples seem to have felt the want of a more ancient
and dignified origin for the sect than one dating only from living
memory. They therefore say that it is a branch of that founded by Rohi
Das, a Chamar disciple of the great liberal and Vaishnavite reformer
Ramanand, who flourished at the end of the fourteenth century. The
Satnamis commonly call themselves Rohidasi as a synonym for their name,
but there is no evidence that Rohi Das ever came to Chhattisgarh,
and there is practically no doubt, as already pointed out, that Ghasi
Das simply appropriated the doctrine of the Satnami sect of northern
India. One of the precepts of Ghasi Das was the prohibition of the
use of tobacco, and this has led to a split in the sect, as many of
his disciples found the rule too hard for them. They returned to their
_chongis_ or leaf-pipes, and are hence called Chungias; they say that
in his later years Ghasi Das withdrew the prohibition. The Chungias
have also taken to idolatry, and their villages contain stones covered
with vermilion, the representations of the village deities, which the
true Satnamis eschew. They are considered lower than the Satnamis,
and intermarriage between the two sections is largely, though not
entirely, prohibited. A Chungia can always become a Satnami if he
ceases to smoke by breaking a cocoanut in the presence of his _guru_
or preceptor or giving him a present. Among the Satnamis there is
also a particularly select class who follow the straitest sect of
the creed and are called _Jaharia_ from _jahar_, an essence. These
never sleep on a bed but always on the ground, and are said to wear
coarse uncoloured clothes and to eat no food but pulse or rice.

7. Customs of the Satnamis.

The social customs of the Satnamis resemble generally those of other
Chamars. They will admit into the community all except members of
"the impure castes, as Dhobis (washermen), Ghasias (grass-cutters) and
Mehtars (sweepers), whom they regard as inferior to themselves. Their
weddings must be celebrated only during the months of Magh (January),
Phagun (February), the light half of Chait (March) and Baisakh
(April). No betrothal ceremony can take place during the months
of Shrawan (August) and Pus (January). They always bury the dead,
laying the body with the face downwards, and spread clothes in the
grave above and below it, so that it may be warm and comfortable
during the last long sleep. They observe mourning for three days and
have their heads shaved on the third day with the exception of the
upper lip, which is never touched by the razor. The Satnamis as well
as the Kabirpanthis in Chhattisgarh abstain from spirituous liquor,
and ordinary Hindus who do not do so are known as Saktaha or Sakta
(a follower of Devi) in contradistinction to them. A Satnami is put
out of caste if he is beaten by a man of another caste, however high,
and if he is touched by a sweeper, Ghasia or Mahar. Their women wear
nose-rings, simply to show their contempt for the Hindu social order,
as this ornament was formerly forbidden to the lower castes. Under
native dynasties any violation of a rule of this kind would have been
severely punished by the executive Government, but in British India
the Chamar women can indulge their whim with impunity. It was also
a rule of the sect not to accept cooked food from the hands of any
other caste, whether Hindu or Muhammadan, but this has fallen into
abeyance since the famines. Another method by which the Satnamis
show their contempt for the Hindu religion is by throwing milk and
curds at each other in sport and trampling it under foot. This is
a parody of the Hindu celebration of the Janam-Ashtami or Krishna's
birthday, when vessels of milk and curds are broken over the heads of
the worshippers and caught and eaten by all castes indiscriminately
in token of amity. They will get into railway carriages and push up
purposely against the Hindus, saying that they have paid for their
tickets and have an equal right to a place. Then the Hindus are
defiled and have to bathe in order to become clean.

8. Character of the Satnami movement.

Several points in the above description point to the conclusion that
the Satnami movement is in essence a social revolt on the part of the
despised Chamars or tanners. The fundamental tenet of the gospel of
Ghasi Das, as in the case of so many other dissenting sects, appears
to have been the abolition of caste, and with it of the authority of
the Brahmans; and this it was which provoked the bitter hostility of
the priestly order. It has been seen that Ghasi Das himself had been
deeply impressed by the misery and debasement of the Chamar community;
how his successor Balak Das was murdered for the assumption of the
sacred thread; and how in other ways the Satnamis try to show their
contempt for the social order which brands them as helot outcastes. A
large proportion of the Satnami Chamars are owners or tenants of land,
and this fact may be surmised to have intensified their feeling of
revolt against the degraded position to which they were relegated by
the Hindus. Though slovenly cultivators and with little energy or
forethought, the Chamars have the utmost fondness for land and an
ardent ambition to obtain a holding, however small. The possession
of land is a hall-mark of respectability in India, as elsewhere, and
the low castes were formerly incapable of holding it; and it may be
surmised that the Chamar feels himself to be raised by his tenant-right
above the hereditary condition of village drudge and menial. But for
the restraining influence of the British power, the Satnami movement
might by now have developed in Chhattisgarh into a social war. Over
most of India the term Hindu is contrasted with Muhammadan, but in
Chhattisgarh to call a man a Hindu conveys primarily that he is not a
Chamar, or Chamara according to the contemptuous abbreviation in common
use. A bitter and permanent antagonism exists between the two classes,
and this the Chamar cultivators carry into their relations with their
Hindu landlords by refusing to pay rent. The records of the criminal
courts contain many cases arising from collisions between Chamars
and Hindus, several of which have resulted in riot and murder. Faults
no doubt exist on both sides, and Mr. Hemingway, Settlement Officer,
quotes an instance of a Hindu proprietor who made his Chamar tenants
cart timber and bricks to Rajim, many miles from his village, to
build a house for him during the season of cultivation, their fields
consequently remaining untilled. But if a proprietor once arouses the
hostility of his Chamar tenants he may as well abandon his village for
all the profit he is likely to obtain from it. Generally the Chamars
are to blame, as pointed out by Mr. Blenkinsop who knows them well,
and many of them are dangerous criminals, restrained only by their
cowardice from the worst outrages against person and property. It
may be noted in conclusion that the spread of Christianity among the
Chamars is in one respect a replica of the Satnami movement, because
by becoming a Christian the Chamar hopes also to throw off the social
bondage of Hinduism. A missionary gentleman told the writer that one
of the converted Chamars, on being directed to perform some menial
duty of the village, replied: 'No, I have become a Christian and am
one of the Sahibs; I shall do no more _bigar_ (forced labour).'

Sikh Religion

List of Paragraphs

    1. _Foundation of Sikhism--Baba Nanak._
    2. _The earlier Gurus_.
    3. _Guru Govind Singh_.
    4. _Sikh initiation and rules_.
    5. _Character of the Nanakpanthis and Sikh sects._
    6. _The Akalis._
    7. _The Sikh Council or Guru-Mata. Their communal meal._

1. Foundation of Sikhism--Baba Nanak.

_Sikh, Akali_.--The Sikh religion and the history of the Sikhs have
been fully described by several writers, and all that is intended in
this article is a brief outline of the main tenets of the sect for the
benefit of those to whom the more important works of reference may not
be available. The Central Provinces contained only 2337 Sikhs in 1911,
of whom the majority were soldiers and the remainder probably timber
or other merchants or members of the subordinate engineering service
in which Punjabis are largely employed. The following account is taken
from Sir Denzil Ibbetson's _Census Report of the Punjab_ for 1881:

"Sikhism was founded by Baba Nanak, a Khatri of the Punjab, who lived
in the fifteenth century. But Nanak was not more than a religious
reformer like Kabir, Ramanand, and the other Vaishnava apostles. He
preached the unity of God, the abolition of idols, and the disregard
of caste distinctions. [390] His doctrine and life were eminently
gentle and unaggressive. He was succeeded by nine _gurus_, the last
and most famous of whom, Govind Singh, died in 1708.

"The names of the _gurus_ were as follows:

     1. Baba Nanak          1469-1538-9
     2. Angad               1539-1552
     3. Amar Das            1552-1574
     4. Ram Das             1574-1581
     5. Arjun               1581-1606
     6. Har Govind          1606-1645
     7. Har Rai             1645-1661
     8. Har Kishen          1661-1664
     9. Teg Bahadur         1664-1675
    10. Govind Singh        1675-1708

2. The earlier Gurus.

"Under the second Guru Angad an intolerant and ascetic spirit began
to spring up among the followers of the new tenets; and had it not
been for the good sense and firmness displayed by his successor,
Amar Das, who excommunicated the Udasis and recalled his followers
to the mildness and tolerance of Nanak, Sikhism would probably have
merely added one more to the countless orders of ascetics or devotees
which are wholly unrepresented in the life of the people. The fourth
_guru_, Ram Das, founded Amritsar; but it was his successor, Arjun,
that first organised his following. He gave them a written rule of
faith in the Granth or Sikh scripture which he compiled, he provided
a common rallying-point in the city of Amritsar which he made their
religious centre, and he reduced their voluntary contributions to
a systematic levy which accustomed them to discipline and paved the
way for further organisation. He was a great trader, he utilised the
services and money of his disciples in mercantile transactions which
extended far beyond the confines of India, and he thus accumulated
wealth for his Church.

"Unfortunately he was unable wholly to abstain from politics; and
having become a political partisan of the rebel prince Khusru, he was
summoned to Delhi and there imprisoned, and the treatment he received
while in confinement hastened, if it did not cause, his death. And
thus began that Muhammadan persecution which was so mightily to
change the spirit of the new faith. This was the first turning-point
in Sikh history; and the effects of the persecution were immediately
apparent. Arjun was a priest and a merchant; his successor, Har Govind,
was a warrior. He abandoned the gentle and spiritual teaching of
Nanak for the use of arms and the love of adventure. He encouraged
his followers to eat flesh, as giving them strength and daring; he
substituted zeal in the cause for saintliness of life as the price
of salvation; and he developed the organised discipline which Arjun
had initiated. He was, however, a military adventurer rather than an
enthusiastic zealot, and fought either for or against the Muhammadan
empire as the hope of immediate gain dictated. His policy was followed
by his two successors; and under Teg Bahadur the Sikhs degenerated
into little better than a band of plundering marauders, whose internal
factions aided to make them disturbers of the public peace. Moreover,
Teg Bahadur was a bigot, while the fanatical Aurangzeb had mounted
the throne of Delhi. Him therefore Aurangzeb captured and executed
as an infidel, a robber and a rebel, while he cruelly persecuted his
followers in common with all who did not accept Islam.

3. Guru Govind Singh.

"Teg Bahadur was succeeded by the last and greatest _guru_, his son
Govind Singh; and it was under him that what had sprung into existence
as a quietist sect of a purely religious nature, and had become a
military society of by no means high character, developed into the
political organisation which was to rule the whole of north-western
India, and to furnish the British arms their stoutest and most worthy
opponents. For some years after his father's execution Govind Singh
lived in retirement, and brooded over his personal wrongs and over
the persecutions of the Musalman fanatic which bathed the country in
blood. His soul was filled with the longing for revenge; but he felt
the necessity for a larger following and a stronger organisation, and,
following the example of his Muhammadan enemies, he used his religion
as the basis of political power. Emerging from his retirement he
preached the Khalsa, the pure, the elect, the liberated. He openly
attacked all distinctions of caste, and taught the equality of all
men who would join him; and instituting a ceremony of initiation,
he proclaimed it as the _pahul_ or 'gate' by which all might enter
the society, while he gave to its members the _prasad_ or communion
as a sacrament of union in which the four castes should eat of one
dish. The higher castes murmured and many of them left him, for he
taught that the Brahman's thread must be broken; but the lower orders
rejoiced and flocked in numbers to his standard. These he inspired
with military ardour, with the hope of social freedom and of national
independence, and with abhorrence of the hated Muhammadan. He gave
them outward signs of their faith in the unshorn hair, the short
drawers, and the blue dress; he marked the military nature of their
calling by the title of Singh or 'lion,' by the wearing of steel,
and by the initiation by sprinkling of water with a two-edged dagger;
and he gave them a feeling of personal superiority in their abstinence
from the unclean tobacco.

"The Muhammadans promptly responded to the challenge, for the
danger was too serious to be neglected; the Sikh army was dispersed,
and Govind's mother, wife and children were murdered at Sirhind by
Aurangzeb's orders. The death of the emperor brought a temporary lull,
and a year later Govind himself was assassinated while fighting the
Marathas as an ally of Aurangzeb's successor. He did not live to see
his ends accomplished, but he had roused the dormant spirit of the
people, and the fire which he lit was only damped for a while. His
chosen disciple Banda succeeded him in the leadership, though never
recognised as _guru_. The internal commotions which followed upon the
death of the emperor, Bahadur Shah, and the attacks of the Marathas
weakened the power of Delhi, and for a time Banda carried all before
him; but he was eventually conquered and captured in A.D. 1716, and a
period of persecution followed so sanguinary and so terrible that for
a generation nothing more was heard of the Sikhs. How the troubles of
the Delhi empire thickened, how the Sikhs again rose to prominence,
how they disputed the possession of the Punjab with the Mughals, the
Marathas and the Durani, and were at length completely successful, how
they divided into societies under their several chiefs and portioned
out the Province among them, and how the genius of Ranjit Singh
raised him to supremacy and extended his rule beyond the limits of
the Punjab, are matters of political and not of religious history. No
formal alteration has been made in the Sikh religion since Govind Singh
gave it its military shape; and though changes have taken place, they
have been merely the natural result of time and external influences.

4. Sikh initiation and rules.

"The word Sikh is said to be derived from the common Hindu term
Sewak and to mean simply a disciple; it may be applied therefore
to the followers of Nanak who held aloof from Govind Singh, but in
practice it is perhaps understood to mean only the latter, while
the Nanakpanthis are considered as Hindus. A true Sikh always takes
the termination Singh to his name on initiation, and hence they
are sometimes known as Singhs in distinction to the Nanakpanthis. A
man is also not born a Sikh, but must always be initiated, and the
_pahul_ or rite of baptism cannot take place until he is old enough
to understand it, the earliest age being seven, while it is often
postponed till manhood. Five Sikhs must be present at the ceremony,
when the novice repeats the articles of the faith and drinks sugar
and water stirred up with a two-edged dagger. At the initiation of
women a one-edged dagger is used, but this is seldom done. Thus most
of the wives of Sikhs have never been initiated, nor is it necessary
that their children should become Sikhs when they grow up. The faith
is unattractive to women owing to the simplicity of its ritual and the
absence of the feasts and ceremonies so abundant in Hinduism; formerly
the Sikhs were accustomed to capture their wives in forays, and hence
perhaps it was considered of no consequence that the husband and
wife should be of different faith. The distinguishing marks of a true
Sikh are the five _Kakkas_ or _K's_ which he is bound to carry about
his person: the _Kes_ or uncut hair and unshaven beard; the _Kachh_
or short drawers ending above the knee; the _Kasa_ or iron bangle;
the _Khanda_ or steel knife; and the _Kanga_ or comb. The other rules
of conduct laid down by Guru Govind Singh for his followers were to
dress in blue clothes and especially eschew red or saffron-coloured
garments and caps of all sorts, to observe personal cleanliness,
especially in the hair, and practise ablutions, to eat the flesh of
such animals only as had been killed by _jatka_ or decapitation,
to abstain from tobacco in all its forms, never to blow out flame
nor extinguish it with drinking-water, to eat with the head covered,
pray and recite passages of the Granth morning and evening and before
all meals, reverence the cow, abstain from the worship of saints and
idols and avoid mosques and temples, and worship the one God only,
neglecting Brahmans and Mullas, and their scriptures, teaching, rites
and religious symbols. Caste distinctions he positively condemned
and instituted the _prasad_ or communion, in which cakes of flour,
butter and sugar are made and consecrated with certain ceremonies while
the communicants sit round in prayer, and then distributed equally
to all the faithful present, to whatever caste they may belong. The
above rules, so far as they enjoin ceremonial observances, are still
very generally obeyed. But the daily reading and recital of the
Granth is discontinued, for the Sikhs are the most uneducated class
in the Punjab, and an occasional visit to the Sikh temple where the
Granth is read aloud is all that the villager thinks necessary. Blue
clothes have been discontinued save by the fanatical Akali sect, as
have been very generally the short drawers or Kachh. The prohibition
of tobacco has had the unfortunate effect of inducing the Sikhs to
take to hemp and opium, both of which are far more injurious than
tobacco. The precepts which forbid the Sikh to venerate Brahmans
or to associate himself with Hindu worship are entirely neglected;
and in the matter of the worship of local saints and deities, and
of the employment of and reverence for Brahmans, there is little,
while in current superstitions and superstitious practices there is
no difference between the Sikh villager and his Hindu brother." [391]

5. Character of the Nanakpanthis and Sikh sects.

It seems thus clear that if it had not been for the political and
military development of the Sikh movement, it would in time have lost
most of its distinctive features and have come to be considered as a
Hindu sect of the same character, if somewhat more distinctive than
those of the Nanakpanthis and Kabirpanthis. But this development and
the founding of the Sikh State of Lahore created a breach between the
Sikhs and ordinary Hindus wider than that caused by their religious
differences, as was sufficiently demonstrated during the Mutiny. In
their origin both the Sikh and Nanakpanthi sects appear to have
been mainly a revolt against the caste system, the supremacy of
Brahmans and the degrading mass of superstitions and reverence of
idols and spirit-worship which the Brahmans encouraged for their own
profit. But while Nanak, influenced by the observation of Islamic
monotheism, attempted to introduce a pure religion only, the aim
of Govind was perhaps political, and he saw in the caste system an
obstacle to the national movement which he desired to excite against
the Muhammadans. So far as the abolition of caste was concerned,
both reformers have, as has been seen, largely failed, the two sects
now recognising caste, while their members revere Brahmans like
ordinary Hindus.

6. The Akalis.

The Akalis or Nihangs are a fanatical order of Sikh ascetics. The
following extract is taken from Sir E. Maclagan's account of them:

"The Akalis came into prominence very early by their stout resistance
to the innovations introduced by the Bairagi Banda after the death of
Guru Govind; but they do not appear to have had much influence during
the following century until the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. They
constituted at once the most unruly and the bravest portion of the
very unruly and brave Sikh army. Their headquarters were at Amritsar,
where they constituted themselves the guardians of the faith and
assumed the right to convoke synods. They levied offerings by force
and were the terror of the Sikh chiefs. Their good qualities were,
however, well appreciated by the Maharaja, and when there were
specially fierce foes to meet, such as the Pathans beyond the Indus,
the Akalis were always to the front.

"The Akali is distinguished very conspicuously by his dark-blue and
checked dress, his peaked turban, often surmounted with steel quoits,
and by the fact of his strutting about like Ali Baba's prince with
his 'thorax and abdomen festooned with curious cutlery.' He is most
particular in retaining the five _Kakkas_, and in preserving every
outward form prescribed by Guru Govind Singh. Some of the Akalis wear
a yellow turban underneath the blue one, leaving a yellow band across
the forehead. The yellow turban is worn by many Sikhs at the Basant
Panchmi, and the Akalis are fond of wearing it at all times. There
is a couplet by Bhai Gurdas which says:

    Siah, Sufed, Surkh, Zardae,
    Jo pahne, sot Gurbhai;

or, 'Those that wear black (the Akalis), white (the Nirmalas), red (the
Udasis) or yellow, are all members of the brotherhood of the Sikhs.'

"The Akalis do not, it is true, drink spirits or eat meat as other
Sikhs do, but they are immoderate in the consumption of _bhang_. They
are in other respects such purists that they will avoid Hindu rites
even in their marriage ceremonies.

"The Akali is full of memories of the glorious day of the Khalsa;
and he is nothing if he is not a soldier, a soldier of the Guru. He
dreams of armies, and he thinks in lakhs. If he wishes to imply that
five Akalis are present, he will say that 'five lakhs are before you';
or if he would explain he is alone, he will say that he is with 'one
and a quarter lakhs of the Khalsa.' You ask him how he is, and he
replies that 'The army is well'; you inquire where he has come from,
and he says, 'The troops marched from Lahore.' The name Akali means
'immortal.' When Sikhism was politically dominant, the Akalis were
accustomed to extort alms by accusing the principal chiefs of crimes,
imposing fines upon them, and in the event of their refusing to pay,
preventing them from performing their ablutions or going through any
of the religious ceremonies at Amritsar."

7. The Sikh Council or Guru-Mata. Their communal meal.

The following account was given by Sir J. Malcolm of the Guru-Mata
or great Council of the Sikhs and their religious meal: [393] "When a
Guru-Mata or great national Council is called on the occasion of any
danger to the country, all the Sikh chiefs assemble at Amritsar. The
assembly is convened by the Akalis; and when the chiefs meet upon this
solemn occasion it is concluded that all private animosities cease,
and that every man sacrifices his personal feelings at the shrine of
the general good.

"When the chiefs and principal leaders are seated, the Adi-Granth
and Dasama Padshah Ka Granth [394] are placed before them. They all
bend their heads before the Scriptures and exclaim, '_Wah Guruji ka
Khalsa! wah Guruji ka Fateh!_' [395] A great quantity of cakes made of
wheat, butter and sugar are then placed before the volumes of their
sacred writings and covered with a cloth. These holy cakes, which
are in commemoration of the injunction of Nanak to eat and to give to
others to eat next receive the salutation of the assembly, who then
rise, while the Akalis pray aloud and the musicians play. The Akalis,
when the prayers are finished, desire the Council to be seated. They
sit down, and the cakes are uncovered and eaten by all classes of
the Sikhs, those distinctions of tribe and caste which are on other
occasions kept up being now laid aside in token of their general and
complete union in one cause. The Akalis proclaim the Guru-Mata, and
prayers are again said aloud. The chiefs after this sit closer and
say to each other, 'The sacred Granth is between us, let us swear by
our Scriptures to forget all internal disputes and to be united.' This
moment of religious fervour is taken to reconcile all animosities. They
then proceed to consider the danger with which they are threatened,
to devise the best plans for averting it and to choose the generals who
are to lead their armies against the common enemy." The first Guru-Mata
was assembled by Guru Govind, and the latest was called in 1805, when
the British Army pursued Holkar into the Punjab. The Sikh Army was
known as Dal Khalsa, or the Army of God, _khalsa_ being an Arabic word
meaning one's own. [396] At the height of the Sikh power the followers
of this religion only numbered a small fraction of the population of
the Punjab, and its strength is now declining. In 1911 the Sikhs were
only three millions in the Punjab population of twenty-four millions.

Smarta Sect

_Smarta Sect_.--This is an orthodox Hindu sect, the members of which
are largely Brahmans. The name is derived from Smriti or tradition,
a name given to the Hindu sacred writings, with the exception of the
Vedas, which last are regarded as a divine revelation. Members of
the sect worship the five deities, Siva, Vishnu, Suraj or the sun,
Ganpati and Sakti, the divine principle of female energy corresponding
to Siva. They say that their sect was founded by Shankar Acharya, the
great Sivite reformer and opponent of Buddhism, but this appears to
be incorrect. Shankar Acharya himself is said to have believed in one
unseen God, who was the first cause and sole ruler of the universe;
but he countenanced for the sake of the weaker brethren the worship
of orthodox Hindu deities and of their idols.

Swami-Narayan Sect

1. The founder.

_Swami-Narayan Sect._ [397]--This, one of the most modern Vaishnava
sects, was founded by Sahajanand Swami, a Sarwaria Brahman, born
near Ajodhia in the United Provinces in A.D. 1780. At an early age he
became a religious mendicant, and wandered all over India, visiting
the principal shrines. When twenty years old he was made a Sadhu of
the Ramanandi order, and soon nominated as his successor by the head
of the order. He preached with great success in Gujarat, and though
his tenets do not seem to have differed much from the Ramanandi creed,
his personal influence was such that his followers founded a new sect
and called it after him. He proclaimed the worship of one sole deity,
Krishna or Narayana, whom he identified with the sun, and apparently
his followers held, and he inclined to believe himself, that he was a
fresh incarnation of Vishnu. It is said that he displayed miraculous
powers before his disciples, entrancing whomsoever he cast his eyes
upon, and causing them in this mesmeric state (Samadhi) to imagine
they saw Sahajanand as Krishna with yellow robes, weapons of war,
and other characteristics of the God, and to behold him seated as
chief in an assembly of divine beings.

2. Tenets of the sect.

His creed prohibited the destruction of animal life; the use of animal
food and intoxicating liquors or drugs on any occasion; promiscuous
intercourse with the other sex; suicide, theft and robbery, and false
accusations. Much good was done, the Collector testified, by his
preaching among the wild Kolis of Gujarat; [398] his morality was said
to be far better than any which could be learned from the Shastras;
he condemned theft and bloodshed; and those villages and Districts
which had received him, from being among the worst, were now among
the best and most orderly in the Province of Bombay. His success
was great among the lower castes, as the Kolis, Bhils and Kathis. He
was regarded by his disciples as the surety of sinners, his position
in this respect resembling that of the Founder of Christianity. To
Bishop Heber he said that while he permitted members of different
castes to eat separately here below, in the future life there would
be no distinction of castes. [399] His rules for the conduct of the
sexes towards each other were especially severe. No Sadhu of the
Swami-Narayan sect might ever touch a woman, even the accidental
touching of any woman other than a mother having to be expiated by a
whole-day fast. Similarly, should a widow-disciple touch even a boy
who was not her son, she had to undergo the same penalty. There were
separate passages for women in their large temples, and separate
reading and preaching halls for women, attended by wives of the
Acharyas or heads of the sect. These could apparently be married,
but other members of the priestly order must remain single; while
the lay followers lived among their fellows, pursuing their ordinary
lives and avocations. The strictness of the Swami on sexual matters
was directed against the licentious practices of the Maharaj or
Vallabhacharya order. He boldly denounced the irregularities they
had introduced into their forms of worship, and exposed the vices
which characterised the lives of their clergy. This attitude, as
well as the prohibition of the worship of idols, earned for him the
hostility of the Peshwa and the Maratha Brahmans, and he was subjected
to a considerable degree of persecution; his followers were taught
the Christian doctrine of suffering injury without retaliation, and
the devotees of hostile sects took advantage of this to beat them
unmercifully, some being even put to death.

3. Meeting with Bishop Heber.

In order to protect the Swami, his followers constituted from
themselves an armed guard, as shown by Bishop Heber's account of
their meeting: "About eleven o'clock I had the expected visit from
Swami-Narayan. He came in a somewhat different guise from all which
I expected, having with him near 200 horsemen, mostly well-armed
with matchlocks and swords, and several of them with coats of mail
and spears. Besides them he had a large rabble on foot with bows and
arrows, and when I considered that I had myself an escort of more than
fifty horses and fifty muskets and bayonets, I could not help smiling,
though my sensations were in some degree painful and humiliating,
at the idea of two religious teachers meeting at the head of little
armies, and filling the city which was the scene of their interview
with the rattling of gunners, the clash of shields and the tramp
of the war-horse. Had our troops been opposed to each other, mine,
though less numerous, would have been doubtless far more effective
from the superiority of arms and discipline. But in moral grandeur
what a difference was there between his troop and mine. Mine neither
knew me nor cared for me; they escorted me faithfully and would have
defended me bravely, because they were ordered by their superiors to do
so. The guards of Swami-Narayan were his own disciples and enthusiastic
admirers, men who had voluntarily repaired to hear his lessons, who
now took a pride in doing him honour, and would cheerfully fight to
the last drop of blood rather than suffer a fringe of his garment to
be handled roughly.... The holy man himself was a middle-aged, thin
and plain-looking person, about my own age, with a mild expression of
countenance, but nothing about him indicative of any extraordinary
talent. I seated him on a chair at my right hand and offered two
more to the Thakur and his son, of which, however, they did not avail
themselves without first placing their hands under the feet of their
spiritual guide and then pressing them reverently to their foreheads."

4. Meeting with Governor of Bombay.

Owing, apparently, to the high moral character of his preaching and
his success in reducing to order and tranquillity the turbulent Kolis
and Bhils who accepted his doctrines, Swami-Narayan enjoyed a large
measure of esteem and regard from the officers of Government. This
will be evidenced from the following account of his meeting with the
Governor of Bombay: [400] "On the receipt of the above two letters,
Swami-Narayan Maharaj proceeded to Rajkote to visit the Right
Honourable the Governor, and on the 26th February 1830 was escorted
as a mark of honourable reception by a party of troops and military
foot-soldiers to the Political Agent's bungalow, when His Excellency
the Governor, the Secretary, Mr. Thomas Williamson, six other European
gentlemen, and the Political Agent, Mr. Blane, having come out of
the bungalow to meet the Swami-Narayan, His Excellency conducted the
Swami, hand in hand, to a hall in the bungalow and made him sit on
a chair. His Excellency afterwards with pleasure enquired about the
principles of his religion, which were communicated accordingly. His
Excellency also made a present to Swami-Narayan of a pair of shawls
and other piece-goods. Swami-Narayan was asked by the Governor whether
he and his disciples have had any harm under British rule; and His
Excellency was informed in reply that there was nothing of the sort,
but that on the contrary every protection was given them by all the
officers in authority. His Excellency then asked for a code of the
religion of Swami-Narayan, and the book called the Shiksapatri was
presented to him accordingly. Thus after a visit extending to an hour
Swami-Narayan asked permission to depart, when he was sent back with
the same honours with which he had been received, all the European
officers accompanying him out of the door from the bungalow."

5. Conclusion.

The author of the above account is not given, and it apparently
emanates from a follower of the saint, but there seems little reason
to doubt its substantial accuracy, and it certainly demonstrates the
high estimation in which he was held. After his death his disciples
erected Chauras or resthouses and monuments to his memory in all the
villages and beneath all the trees where he had at any time made any
stay in Gujarat; and here he is worshipped by the sect. In 1901 the
sect had about 300,000 adherents in Gujarat. In the Central Provinces
a number of persons belong to it in Nimar, principally of the Teli
caste. The Telis of Nimar are anxious to improve their social position,
which is very low, and have probably joined the sect on account of
its liberal principles on the question of caste.

Vaishnava, Vishnuite Sect

1. Vishnu as representing the sun.

_Vaishnava, Vishnuite Sect_.--The name given to Hindus whose
special deity is the god Vishnu, and to a number of sects which have
adopted various special doctrines based on the worship of Vishnu
or of one of his two great incarnations, Rama and Krishna. Vishnu
was a personification of the sun, though in ancient literature
the sun is more often referred to under another name, as Savitri,
Surya and Aditya. It may perhaps be the case that when the original
sun-god develops into a supreme deity with the whole heavens as
his sphere, the sun itself comes to be regarded as a separate and
minor deity. His weapon of the _chakra_ or discus, which was probably
meant to resemble the sun, supports the view of Vishnu as a sun-god,
and also his _vahan_, the bird Garuda, on which he rides. This is
the Brahminy kite, a fine bird with chestnut plumage and white head
and breast, which has been considered a sea-eagle. Mr. Dewar states
that it remains almost motionless at a great height in the air for
long periods; and it is easy to understand how in these circumstances
primitive people mistook it for the spirit of the sky, or the vehicle
of the sun-god. It is propitious for a Hindu to see a Brahminy kite,
especially on Sunday, the sun's day, for it is believed that the bird
is then returning from Vishnu, whom it has gone to see on the previous
evening. [401] A similar belief has probably led to the veneration
of the eagle in other countries and its association with the god of
the sky or heavens, as in the case of Zeus. Similarly the Gayatri,
the most sacred Hindu prayer, is addressed to the sun, and it could
hardly have been considered so important unless the luminary was
identified with one of the greatest Hindu gods. Every Brahman prays
to the sun daily when he bathes in the morning. Vishnu's character
as the preserver and fosterer of life is probably derived from the
sun's generative power, so conspicuous in India.

As the sun is seen to sink every night into the earth, so it was
thought that he could come down to earth, and Vishnu has done this
in many forms for the preservation of mankind.

2. His incarnations.

He is generally considered to have had ten incarnations, of which nine
are past and one is still to come. The incarnations were as follows:

1. As a great fish he guided the ark in which Manu the primeval man
escaped from the deluge.

2. As a tortoise he supported the earth and poised it in its present
position; or according to another version he lay at the bottom of
the sea while the mountain Meru was set on its peak on his back,
and with the serpent Vasuki as a rope round the mountain the ocean
was churned by the gods for making the divine Amrit or nectar which
gives immortality.

3. As a boar he dived under the sea and raised the earth on his tusks
after it had been submerged by a demon.

4. As Narsingh, the man-lion, he delivered the world from the tyranny
of another demon.

5. As Waman or a dwarf he tricked the King Bali, who had gained
possession over the earth and nether world and was threatening the
heavens, by asking for as much ground as he could cover in three
steps. When his request was derisively granted he covered heaven and
earth in two steps, but on Bali's intercession left him the nether
regions and refrained from making the third step which would have
covered them.

6. As Parasurama [402] he cleared the earth of the Kshatriyas,
who had oppressed the Brahman hermits and stolen the sacred cow,
by a slaughter of them thrice seven times repeated.

7. As Rama, the divine king of Ajodhia or Oudh, he led an expedition
to Ceylon for the recovery of his wife Sita, who had been abducted
by Rawan, the demon king of Ceylon. This story probably refers to
an early expedition of the Aryans to southern India, in which they
may have obtained the assistance of the Munda tribes, represented by
Hanuman and his army of apes.

8. As Krishna he supported the Pandavas in their war against the
Kauravas, and at the head of the Yadava clan founded the city of
Dwarka in Gujarat, where he was afterwards killed. The popular group
of legends about Krishna in his capacity of a cowherd in the forests of
Mathura was perhaps at first distinct and afterwards combined with the
story of the Yadava prince. [403] But it is in this latter character as
the divine cowherd that Krishna is most generally known and worshipped.

9. As Buddha he was the great founder of the religion known by his
name; the Brahmans, by making Buddha an incarnation of Vishnu, have
thus provided a connecting link between Buddhism and Hinduism.

In his tenth incarnation he will come again as Nishka-lanki or the
stainless one for the final regeneration of the world, and his advent
is expected by some Hindus, who worship him in this form.

3. Worship of Vishnu and Vaishnava doctrines.

In the Central Provinces Vishnu is worshipped as Narayan Deo, who is
identified with the sun, or as Parmeshwar, the supreme beneficent
god. He is also much worshipped in his incarnations as Rama and
Krishna, and their images, with those of their consorts, Sita and
Radha, are often to be found in his temples as well as in their
own. These images are supposed to be subject to all the conditions and
necessities incident to living humanity. Hence in the daily ritual
they are washed, dressed, adorned and even fed like human beings,
food being daily placed before them, and its aroma, according to
popular belief, nourishing the god present in the image.

The principal Vishnuite sects are described in the article on Bairagi,
and the dissenting sects which have branched off from these in special
articles. [404] The cult of Vishnu and his two main incarnations is
the most prominent feature of modern Hinduism. The orthodox Vaishnava
sects mainly differed on the point whether the human soul or spirit
was a part of the divine soul or separate from it, and whether it
would be reabsorbed into the divine soul, or have a separate existence
after death. But they generally regarded all human souls as of one
quality, and hence were opposed to distinctions of caste. Animals
also have souls or spirits, and the Vishnuite doctrine is opposed to
the destruction of animal life in any form. In the Bania caste the
practices of Vaishnava Hindus and Jains present so little difference
that they can take food together, and even intermarry. The creed is
also opposed to suicide.

Faithful worshippers of Vishnu will after his death be transported
to his heaven, Vaikuntha, or to Golaka, the heaven of Krishna. The
sect-mark of the Vaishnavas usually consists of three lines down
the forehead, meeting at the root of the nose or below it. All three
lines may be white, or the centre one black or red, and the outside
ones white. They are made with a kind of clay called Gopichandan,
and are sometimes held to be the impress of Vishnu's foot. To put
on the sect-mark in the morning is to secure the god's favour and
protection during the day.

Vam-Margi, Bam-Margi, Vama-Chari Sect.

_Vam-Margi, Bam-Margi, Vama-Chari Sect._ [405]--A sect who follow the
worship of the female principle in nature and indulge in sensuality
at their rites according to the precepts of the Tantras. The name
signifies 'the followers of the crooked or left-handed path.' Their
principal sacred text is the Rudra-Yamal-Damru Tantra, which is said
to have been promulgated by Rudra or Siva through his Damru or drum
at the end of his dance in Kailas, his heaven in the Himalayas. The
Tantras, according to Professor Monier-Williams, inculcate an exclusive
worship of Siva's wife as the source of every kind of supernatural
faculty and mystic craft. The principle of female energy is known
as Sakti, and is personified in the female counterparts of all the
Gods of the Hindu triad, but is practically concentrated in Devi or
Kali. The five requisites for Tantra worship are said to be the five
Makaras or words beginning with M: Madya, wine; Mansa, flesh; Matsya,
fish; Mudra, parched grain and mystic gesticulation; and Maithuna,
sexual indulgence. Among the Vam-Margis both men and women are said
to assemble at a secret meeting-place, and their rite consists in the
adoration of a naked woman who stands in the centre of the room with a
drawn sword in her hand. The worshippers then eat fish, meat and grain,
and drink liquor, and thereafter indulge in promiscuous debauchery. The
followers of the sect are mainly Brahmans, though other castes may be
admitted. The Vam-Margis usually keep their membership of the sect a
secret, but their special mark is said to be a semicircular line or
lines of red powder or vermilion on the forehead, with a red streak
half-way up the centre, and a circular spot of red at the root of
the nose. They use a rosary of rudraksha or of coral beads, but of no
greater length than can be concealed in the hand, or they keep it in
a small purse or bag of red cloth. During worship they wear a piece
of red silk round the loins and decorate themselves with garlands of
crimson flowers. In their houses they worship a figure of the double
triangle drawn on the ground or on a metal plate and make offerings
of liquor to it.

They practise various magical charms by which they think they can kill
their enemies. Thus fire is brought from the pyre on which a corpse
has been burnt, and on this the operator pours water, and with the
charcoal so obtained he makes a figure of his enemy in a lonely place
under a pipal tree or on the bank of a river. He then takes an iron
bar, twelve finger-joints long, and after repeating his charms pierces
the figure with it. When all the limbs have been pierced the man whose
effigy has been so treated will die. Other methods will procure the
death of an enemy in a certain number of months or cause him to lose
a limb. Sometimes they make a rosary of 108 fruits of the _dhatura_
[406] and pierce the figure of the enemy through the neck after
repeating charms, and it is supposed that this will kill him at once.

Wahhabi Sect

_Wahhabi Sect._ [407]--A puritan sect of Muhammadans. The sect was not
recorded at the census, but it is probable that it has a few adherents
in the Central Provinces. The Wahhabi sect is named after its founder,
Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, who was born in Arabia in A.D. 1691. He set
his face against all developments of Islam not warranted by the Koran
and the traditional utterances of the Companions of the Prophet, and
against the belief in omens and worship at the shrines of saints,
and condemned as well all display of wealth and luxury and the
use of intoxicating drugs and tobacco. He denied any authority to
Islamic doctrines other than the Koran itself and the utterances of
the Companions of the Prophet who had received instruction from his
lips, and held that in the interpretation and application of them
Moslems must exercise the right of private judgment. The sect met
with considerable military success in Arabia and Persia, and at one
time threatened to spread over the Islamic world. The following is an
account of the taking of Mecca by Saud, the grandson of the founder,
in 1803: "The sanctity of the place subdued the barbarous spirit
of the conquerors, and not the slightest excesses were committed
against the people. The stern principles of the reformed doctrines
were, however, strictly enforced. Piles of green huqqas and Persian
pipes were collected, rosaries and amulets were forcibly taken from
the devotees, silk and satin dresses were demanded from the wealthy
and worldly, and the whole, piled up into a heterogeneous mass,
were burnt by the infuriated reformers. So strong was the feeling
against the pipes and so necessary did a public example seem to be,
that a respectable lady, whose delinquency had well-nigh escaped
the vigilant eye of the Muhtasib, was seized and placed on an ass,
with a green pipe suspended from her neck, and paraded through the
public streets--a terrible warning to all of her sex who might be
inclined to indulge in forbidden luxuries. When the usual hour of
prayer arrived the myrmidons of the law sallied forth, and with
leathern whips drove all slothful Moslems to their devotions. The
mosques were filled. Never since the days of the Prophet had the
sacred city witnessed so much piety and devotion. Not one pipe, not
a single tobacco-stopper, was to be seen in the streets or found in
the houses, and the whole population of Mecca prostrated themselves
at least five times a day in solemn adoration."

The apprehensions of the Sultan of Turkey were aroused and an army
was despatched against the Wahhabis, which broke their political
power, their leader, Saud's son, being executed in Constantinople in
1818. But the tenets of the sect continued to be maintained in Arabia,
and in 1822 one Saiyad Ahmad, a freebooter and bandit from Rai Bareli,
was converted to it on a pilgrimage to Mecca and returned to preach
its doctrines in India. Being a Saiyad and thus a descendant of the
Prophet, he was accepted by the Muhammadans of India as the true
Khalifa or Mahdi, awaited by the Shiahs. Unheeded by the British
Government, he traversed our provinces with a numerous retinue of
devoted disciples and converted the populace to his reformed doctrine
by thousands, Patna becoming a centre of the sect. In 1826 he declared
a _jihad_ or religious war against the Sikhs, but after a four years'
struggle was defeated and killed. The sect gave some trouble in the
Mutiny, but has not since taken any part in politics. Its reformed
doctrines, however, have obtained a considerable vogue, and still
exercise a powerful influence on Muhammadan thought. The Wahhabis deny
the authority of Islamic tradition after the deaths of the Companions
of the Prophet, do not illuminate or pay reverence to the shrines of
departed saints, do not celebrate the birthday of Muhammad, count
the ninety-nine names of God on their fingers and not on a rosary,
and do not smoke.


Glossary of Minor Castes and Other Articles, Synonyms, Subcastes,
Titles and Names of Exogamous Septs or Clans

_Note_.--In this Glossary the references under each heading are to
the detailed articles on castes, religions and sects, in Part I. and
Part II. of the work. The synonyms, subcastes and titles have been
taken from the main articles and are arranged here in index form as
an aid to identification. Section or clan names, however, will not
usually be found in the main articles. They have been selected from
an alphabetical list prepared separately, and are included as being
of some interest, in addition to those contained in the articles. The
Glossary also serves the purpose of indicating how subcaste and clan
names are common to several castes and tribes.


_Abhimanchkul_.--A section of Komti in Chanda. They abstain from
using a preparation of lead which is generally ground to powder and
applied to wounds.

_Abhira_.--An immigrant nomad tribe from which the modern Ahir caste
is believed to have originated. A division of Maratha and Gujarati
Brahmans, so called because they are priests of the Abhiras or the
modern Ahirs.

_Abdhut_.--Name for a religious mendicant. Applied to Gosains, _q.v._

_Acharya_, _Acharaj_.--(Superintendent of ceremonies.) Title of
the heads of the Swami-Narayan sect. A surname of Adi Gaur Brahmans
in Saugor.

_Adhia_.--(Half.) A subcaste of Telis considered to be illegitimate
in Betul.

_Adhaighar_, _Arhaighar_.--(2 1/2 houses.) A subdivision of Saraswat

_Adhali_.--A name given to Malyars by outsiders.

_Adigaur_.--A subdivision of Brahman, probably a branch of the Gaur
Brahmans, though in Saugor they are considered to be Kanaujias.

_Adkandh_, _Adikandh_.--(Superior Khonds.) A subcaste of Khonds,
being the most Hinduised section of this tribe. A title of Khond.

_Adnath_, _Adinath_.--A subdivision of Jogi. Adinath was the father
of Matsyendranath and grandfather of Gorakhnath, the first great Jogi.

_Agamudayan_.--A large Tamil cultivating caste, of which a few members
reside in the Central Provinces in Jubbulpore and Raipur. They are the
families of Madras sepoys who have retired from regiments stationed
in these places. The Agamudayans sometimes call themselves by the
title of Pillai, which means 'Son of a god' and was formerly reserved
to Brahmans.

_Agarwala_, _Agarwal_.--A subcaste of Bania. See Bania-Agarwala.

_Agastya_.--An eponymous section of Brahmans.

_Aghorpanthi_.--Synonym for Aghori.

_Agnihotri_.--A surname of Kanaujia and Jijhotia Brahmans in
Saugor. (One who performs the sacrifice to Agni or the god of fire.)

_Agnikula_.--A name given to four clans of Rajputs said to have been
born from the fire-pit on Mount Abu. See article Panwar Rajput.

_Agrahari_.--A subcaste of Bania found chiefly in Jubbulpore District
and Raigarh State. Their name has been connected with the cities of
Agra and Agroha.

_Agrajanma_.--(First-born.) A synonym for Brahmans.

_Aharia_.--Clan of Rajput. Synonym for Sesodia.

_Ahir_.--The professional caste of herdsmen. A clan of Maratha. A
subcaste of Rawat and Salewar Koshti in Nimar. A subcaste of Bishnoi,
Gurao, and Sunar.

_Ahirwar_.--A resident of the old town of Ahar in the Bulandshahr
district. Subcaste of Kori.

_Ahivasi_, _Ahiwasi_.--(From Ahiwas, 'The abode of the dragon,'
the hermitage of Sanbhari Rishi in Mathura.) A Brahmanical or
pseudo-Brahmanical tribe. They are said to be sprung from a Brahman
father and a Kshatriya mother, and were formerly pack-carriers. Found
in Jubbulpore and the Nerbudda Valley.

_Ahke_.--(Seduced.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds in Betul. They
are said to be so named because their priests once seduced a Dhurwa
girl, and her son was given this name.

_Aithana_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Ajodhia_.--Subcaste of Jadam.

_Ajudhiabasi_.--See Audhia.

_Akali_.--Order of Sikh devotees. See article Sikh.

_Akhadewale_.--A class of Bairagis who do not marry. Also known
as Nihang.

_Akhroti_.--A subdivision of Pathans. (From _akhrot_, walnut.)

_Akre_.--A bastard Khatik. Title of a child a Khatik gets by a woman
of another caste.

_Alia_.--A grower of the _al_ plant. A subcaste of Bania and Kachhi,
a synonym of Chasa.

_Alia_, _Alkari_.--These terms are derived from the _al_ or Indian
mulberry (_Morinda citrifolia_). The Alias are members of the
Kachhi caste who formerly grew the _al_ plant in Nimar for sale
to the dyers. Its cultivation then yielded a large profit and the
Alias devoted themselves solely to it, while they excommunicated
any of their members who were guilty of selling or giving away the
seed. The imported alizarin has now almost entirely superseded the
indigenous dye, and _al_ as a commercial product has been driven from
the market. Alkari is a term applied to Banias and others in the Damoh
District who were formerly engaged in the cultivation of the _al_
plant. The members of each caste which took to the cultivation of this
plant were somewhat looked down upon by the others and hence became a
distinct group. The explanation generally given of the distaste for
the crop is that in the process of boiling the roots to extract the
dye a number of insects have to be killed. A further reason is that
the red dye is considered to resemble or be equivalent to blood, the
second idea being a necessary consequence of the first in primitive
modes of thought, and hence to cause a certain degree of pollution
to those who prepare it. A similar objection is held to the purveying
of lac-dye as shown in the article on Lakhera. Notwithstanding this,
clothes dyed red are considered lucky, and the _al_ dye was far more
commonly used by Hindus than any other, prior to the introduction of
aniline dyes. Tents were also coloured red with this dye. The tents
of the Mughal Emperors and royal princes were of red cloth dyed with
the roots of the _al_ plant. [408] Similarly Nadir Shah, the victor
of Panipat, had his field headquarters and lived in one small red
tent. In these cases the original reason for colouring the tents
red may probably have been that it was a lucky colour for battles,
and the same belief may have led to the adoption of red as a royal
and imperial colour.

_Alkari_.--Synonym for Alia.

_Alua_.--A subcaste of Uriya Brahmans, so named because their
forefathers grew the _alu_ or potato.

_Amal_.--A section of Komti. The members of this section do not eat
the plantain.

_Ambadar_.--(Mango-branch.) A section of Rawat (Ahir).

_Ambashta_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Amethia_.--(From Amethi, a pargana in Lucknow District.) A sept of
Rajputs, who are Chauhans according to Sir H.M. Elliott, but others
say they are a branch of the Chamar Gaur.

_Amisht_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Amnait_.--Subcaste of Bhatra.

_Amrite_.--(From Amrit nectar.) A section of Kirar.

_Anapa_.--(Leather-dealers.) Subcaste of Madgi.

_Anavala_.--A subdivision of Gujarati or Khedawal Brahmans. They
derive their name from the village Anaval in Baroda. They are otherwise
known as Bhatela, Desai or Mastan.

_Andhra_, _Tailanga_.--One of the five orders of the Panch Dravid
Brahmans inhabiting the Telugu country.

_Antarvedi_.--A resident of Antarved or the Doab, the tract of land
between the Ganges and the Jumna rivers. Subcaste of Chamar.

_Apastambha_.--A Sutra of the Vedas. A subdivision of Brahmans
following that Sutra and forming a caste subdivision. But they marry
with Rig-Vedis, though the Sutra belongs to the Black Yajur-Vedi.

_Atharvarvedi_, _Antharwarvedi_.--A subcaste of Brahmans who follow
the Atharvar-Veda and are very rarely met with.

_Arab_.--This designation is sometimes returned by the descendants
of the Arab mercenaries of the Bhonsla kings. These were at one time
largely employed by the different rulers of southern India and made
the best of soldiers. In the Maratha armies [409] their rate of
pay was Rs. 12 a month, while the ordinary infantry received only
Rs. 5. General Hislop stated their character as follows: [410]

"There are perhaps no troops in the world that will make a stouter
or more determined stand at their posts than the Arabs. They are
entirely unacquainted with military evolutions, and undisciplined;
but every Arab has a pride and heart of his own that never forsakes
him as long as he has legs to stand on. They are naturally brave and
possess the greatest coolness and quickness of sight: hardy and fierce
through habit, and bred to the use of the matchlock from their boyhood:
and they attain a precision and skill in the use of it that would
almost exceed belief, bringing down or wounding the smallest object
at a considerable distance, and not unfrequently birds with a single
bullet. They are generally armed with a matchlock, a couple of swords,
with three or four small daggers stuck in front of their belts, and
a shield. On common occasions of attack and defence they fire but
one bullet, but when hard pressed at the breach they drop in two,
three, and four at a time, from their mouths, always carrying in
them from eight to ten bullets, which are of a small size. We may
calculate the whole number of Arabs in the service of the Peshwa
and the Berar Raja at 6000 men, a loose and undisciplined body,
but every man of them a tough and hardy soldier. It was to the Arabs
alone those Provinces looked, and placed their dependence on. Their
own troops fled and abandoned them, seldom or never daring to meet
our smallest detachment. Nothing can exceed the horror and atarm with
which some of our native troops view the Arab. At Nagpur in November
1817 the Arabs alone attacked us on the defence and reduced us to the
last extremity, when we were saved by Captain Fitzgerald's charge. The
Arabs attacked us at Koregaon and would have certainly destroyed us had
not the Peshwa withdrawn his troops on General Smith's approach. The
Arabs kept General Doveton at bay with his whole army at Nagpur for
several days, repulsing our attack at the breach, and they gained
their fullest terms. The Arabs worsted us for a month at Malegaon
and saved their credit. They terrified the Surat authorities by their
fame alone. They gained their terms of money from Sir John Malcolm at
Asirgarh. They maintained to the last for their prince their post at
Alamner and nobly refused to be bought over there. They attacked us
bravely, but unfortunately at Talner. They attacked Captain Spark's
detachment on the defence and destroyed it. They attacked a battalion
of the 14th Madras Infantry with 26-pounders and compelled them to
seek shelter in a village; and they gave us a furious wind-up at
Asirgarh. Yet the whole of these Arabs were not 6000."

There is no doubt that the Arabs are one of the finest fighting
races of the world. Their ancestors were the Saracens who gained
a great empire in Europe and Asia. Their hardihood and powers of
endurance are brought to the highest pitch by the rigours of desert
life, while owing to their lack of nervous sensibility the shock
and pain of wounds affect them less than civilised troops. And in
addition their religion teaches that all who die in battle against the
infidel are transported straight to a paradise teeming with material
and sensual delights. Arab troops are still employed in Hyderabad
State. Mr. Stevens notices them as follows in his book _In India_:
"A gang of half-a-dozen, brilliantly dishevelled, a faggot of daggers
with an antique pistol or two in each belt, and a six-foot matchlock
on each shoulder. They serve as irregular troops there, and it must
be owned that if irregularity is what you want, no man on earth can
supply it better. The Arab irregulars are brought over to serve their
time and then sent back to Arabia; there is one at this moment, who
is a subaltern in Hyderabad, but as soon as he crosses the British
border gets a salute of nine guns; he is a Sheikh in his own country
near Aden."

The Arabs who have been long resident here have adopted the ways
and manners of other Musalmans. Their marriages are in the Nikah
form and are marked by only one [411] dinner, following the example
of the Prophet, who gave a dinner at the marriage of his daughter
the Lady Fatimah and Ali. In obedience to the order of the Prophet
a death is followed by no signs of mourning. Arabs marry freely
with other Sunni Muhammadans and have no special social or religious
organisation. The battle-cry of the Arabs at Sitabaldi and Nagpur was
'_Din, Din, Muhammad_.'

_Arakh_.--A caste. A subcaste of Dahait, Gond and Pasi.

_Aranya_.--Name of one of the ten orders of Gosains.

_Are_.--A cultivating caste of the Chanda District, where they numbered
2000 persons in 1911. The caste are also found in Madras and Bombay,
where they commonly return themselves under the name of Marathi; this
name is apparently used in the south as a generic term for immigrants
from the north, just as in the Central Provinces people coming from
northern India are called Pardeshi. Mr. (Sir H.) Stuart says [412]
that Are is a synonym for Arya, and is used as an equivalent of a
Maratha and sometimes in a still wider sense, apparently to designate
an immigrant Aryan into the Dravidian country of the south. The Ares of
the Central Provinces appear to be Kunbis who have migrated into the
Telugu country. The names of their subcastes are those of the Kunbis,
as Khaire, Tirelle, a form of Tirole, and Dhanoj for Dhanoje. Other
subdivisions are called Kayat and Kattri, and these seem to be the
descendants of Kayasth and Khatri ancestors. The caste admit Brahmans,
Banias, and Komtis into the community and seem to be, as shown by
Mr. Stuart, a mixed group of immigrants from Maharashtra into the
Telugu country. Some of them wear the sacred thread and others do
not. Some of their family names are taken from those of animals and
plants, and they bury persons who die unmarried, placing their feet
towards the north like the forest tribes.

_Arka_.--A sept of Gonds in Chanda who worship the saras crane.

_Armachi_.--(The _dhaura_ tree.) A totemistic sept of Gonds.

_Arora_, _Rora_.--An important trading and mercantile caste of the
Punjab, of which a few persons were returned from the Nimar District in
1901. Sir D. Ibbetson was of opinion that the Aroras were the Khatris
of Aror, the ancient capital of Scinde, represented by the modern
Rori. He described the Arora as follows: [413] "Like the Khatri and
unlike the Bania he is no mere trader; but his social position is
far inferior to theirs, partly no doubt because he is looked down
upon simply as being a Hindu in the portions of the Province which
are his special habitat. He is commonly known as a Kirar, a word
almost synonymous with coward, and even more contemptuous than is
the name Bania in the east of the province. The Arora is active and
enterprising, industrious and thrifty.... 'When an Arora girds up
his loins he makes it only two miles from Jhang to Lahore.' He will
turn his hand to any work, he makes a most admirable cultivator,
and a large proportion of the Aroras of the lower Chenab are purely
agricultural in their avocations. He is found throughout Afghanistan
and even Turkistan and is the Hindu trader of those countries; while
in the western Punjab he will sew clothes, weave matting and baskets,
make vessels of brass and copper and do goldsmith's work. But he is a
terrible coward, and is so branded in the proverbs of the countryside:
The thieves were four and we eighty-four; the thieves came on and we
ran away; and again: To meet a Rathi armed with a hoe makes a company
of nine Kirars (Aroras) feel alone. Yet the peasant has a wholesome
dread of the Kirar when in his proper place: Vex not the Jat in his
jungle, nor the Kirar at his shop, nor the boatman at his ferry;
for if you do they will break your head. Again: Trust not a crow,
a dog or a Kirar, even when asleep. So again: You can't make a friend
of a Kirar any more than a _sati_ of a prostitute."

_Asathi_.--A subcaste of Bania. They are both Jains and Hindus.

_Ashram_.--Name of one of the ten orders of Gosains.

_Ashthana_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Atharadesia_.--(A man of eighteen districts.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Athbhaiya_.--(Eight brothers.) A subdivision of Saraswat Brahman
in Hoshangabad. An Athbhaiya cannot take a wife from the Chaubhaiya
subdivision, to whom the former give their daughters in marriage.

_Athia_.--A subcaste of Chadar, so named because they worship their
goddess Devi on the 8th day (Athain) of Kunwar (September), and
correspond to the Brahmanical Sakta sect, as opposed to the other
Chadar subcaste Parmasuria, who correspond to the Vaishnavas.

_Audhalia_.--Synonym for Audhelia.

_Audhia_, _Ajudhiabasi_.--A resident of Oudh. Subcaste of Bania and
of Kasar and Sunar.

_Audichya_.--A subcaste of Brahmans coming from Oudh.

_Aughad_.--A subdivision of Jogi. They resemble the Aghoris with the
difference that they may not eat human flesh.

_Aughar_.--A subdivision of Jogi.

_Aukule_.--A subcaste of Koshtis. They are also called Vidurs, being
of mixed descent from Koshtas and other castes.

_Aulia_.--(A favourite of God.) Title of Muhammadan saints.

_Baba_.--Synonym of Gosain.

_Babhan_.--Synonym for Bhuinhar, being the name of a landholding
caste in Bengal. Used as a title by Bhuiyas.

_Babuan_.--Title for the descendants of the former ruling families
of the Chero tribe.

_Bachhalya_, _Bachhap_, _Bachhilia_.--(From _bachha_, a calf.) A
section of Bania, Chadar and Khangar. A section of Patwa in
Raipur. They do not castrate bullocks.

_Bad_.--(High or great.) Subcaste of Agharia and Sudh.

_Bad_ or _Bhand_.--A caste. Title of Khatik.

_Bad_.--(Banyan tree.) A section of Joshi.

_Badaria_.--(From _badar_, cloud.) A section of Kandera.

_Badgainya_.--(From Badgaon (_bara gaon_), a large village.) A surname
of Sarwaria Brahmans. A section of Basdewa, Gadaria and Kurmi.

_Badgujar_.--(From _bada_, great.) One of the thirty-six royal races
of Rajputs. A subcaste of Gujar, also of Gaur Brahman. A section
of Mehtar.

_Badhaiya_.--(Barhai, carpenter.) A subcaste of Lohar and Kol. A sept
of Savar.

_Badharia_.--A resident of Badhas in Mirzapur. Subcaste of Bahna
and Dhuri.

_Badi_.--(A rope-walker.) Synonym of Nat.

_Badkur_.--Title used in the Dhobi caste.

_Badwaik_.--(The great ones.) A subcaste of Mana. A title of Dhobi
and Pan or Ganda.

_Bagaria_.--(A young buffalo.) A sept of Dhanwar and Sonkar.

_Bagh_, _Baghwa_.--(Tiger.) A totemistic sept of Ahir, Bhatra, Kawar,
Munda, Oraon, Sonkar, Teli and Turi.

_Baghel_, _Baghela_.--(A tiger or tiger-cub.) A clan of Rajputs
which has given its name to Baghelkhand. A subcaste of Audhia Sunar
and Chamar. A section of Bhilala, Dhanwar, Gond, Lodhi, Mali, and
Panwar Rajput.

_Baghmar_, _Baghmarya_, _Bagmar_.--(A tiger-slayer.) A section of
Oswal Bania, Basor, Chamar, Dhimar, Koilabhuti Gond, and Teli. A
subsept of Nika Gonds in Betul, who abstain from killing tigers.

_Bagri_.--A clan of Rajputs. A subcaste of Jat. One of the 72 1/2
sections of Maheshri Banias. People belonging to the Badhak or Bawaria,
and Pardhi castes are sometimes known by this name.

_Bahargainyan_.--(From _Bahar gaon_, outside the village.) A subcaste
of Kurmi.

_Baharketu_.--(Bush-cutter.) A subcaste of Korwa.

_Bahelia_.--The caste of fowlers and hunters in northern India. In the
Central Provinces the Bahelias are not to be distinguished from the
Pardhis, as they have the same set of exogamous groups named after the
Rajput clans, and resemble them in all other respects. The word Bahelia
is derived from the Sanskrit Vyadha, 'one who pierces or wounds,' hence
a hunter. Pardhi is derived from the Marathi _paradh_, hunting. The
latter term is more commonly used in the Central Provinces, and has
therefore been chosen as the title of the article on the caste.

_Bahre_.--(Outside the walls.) A subdivision of Khedawal Brahmans.

_Bahrup_.--Subcaste of Banjara.

_Bahrupia_.--A small class of mendicant actors and quick-change
artists. They are recruited from all classes of the population,
and though a distinct caste of Bahrupias appears to exist, people of
various castes also call themselves Bahrupia when they take to this
occupation. In Berar the Mahar, Mang and Maratha divisions of the
Bahrupias are the most common: [414] the former two begging only from
the castes from which they take their name. In Gujarat they appear
to be principally Muhammadans. Sir D. Ibbetson says of them: [415]
"The name is derived from the Sanskrit _bahu_, many, and _rupa_,
form, and denotes an actor, a mimic or one who assumes many forms
or characters. One of their favourite devices is to ask for money,
and when it is refused to ask that it may be given if the Bahrupia
succeeds in deceiving the person who refused it. Some days later the
Bahrupia will again visit the house in the disguise of a pedlar,
a milkman or what not, sell his goods without being detected,
throw off his disguise and claim the stipulated reward." In Gujarat
"they are ventriloquists and actors with a special skill of dressing
one side of their face like a man and the other side like a woman,
and moving their head about so sharply that they seem to be two
persons." [416] Mr. Kitts states that "the men are by profession
story-tellers and mimics, imitating the voices of men and the notes
of animals; their male children are also trained to dance. In payment
for their entertainment they are frequently content with cast-off
clothes, which will of course be of use to them in assuming other
characters." [417] Occasionally also they dress up in European clothes
and can successfully assume the character of a Eurasian.

_Baid_.--(Physician.) A surname of Sanadhia and Maratha Brahmans in
Saugor. A section of Oswal Bania, and Darzi.

_Bairagi_.--A caste or religious order. Subcaste of Bhat.

_Bais_.--A clan of Rajputs.

_Bajania_.--(One who plays on musical instruments.) Subcaste of Panka.

_Bajanya_.--(Drummer.) A subcaste of Panka in Balaghat.

_Bajarha_.--(Bazar.) A section of Daraiha in Bilaspur.

_Bajna_, _Bajgari_.--(Musicians at feasts and marriages.) Subcaste
of Ganda.

_Bajpai_.--(A priest officiating at the horse sacrifice.) A surname of
Kanaujia Brahmans. A section of Brahmans. Title of some old families
whose ancestors were sacrificial priests.

_Bakar Kasai_.--(Goat-butcher.) A subcaste of Khatik.

_Bakra_.--(Goat.) A totemistic sept of Bhatra and Halba.

_Baksaria_.--From Buxar in Bengal. A clan of Rajputs. A section of
Daraiha and Lodhi.

_Balla_.--One of the 36 Rajkuls or royal clans of Rajputs noted in
Tod's _Rajasthan_.

_Balnik_.--Subcaste of Kayasth.

_Balusudia_.--(Shaven.) Title of Khond.

_Balutedar_.--Name for a village menial in Berar. Title of Dhobi.

_Balwanda_.--(Quarrelsome.) A section of Teli.

_Bam-Margi._--Synonym for the Vam-Margi sect.

_Baman_ or _Brahman_. Subcaste of Bishnoi, Darzi and Gondhali.

_Bamania_.--(From Brahman.) A section of Ahir. They do not touch the
pipal tree. A section of Mahar and of Rajjhar in Hoshangabad.

_Bamhan Gour_ or _Brahman Gour_.--A clan of Rajputs in Saugor and

_Bamhania_.--A subcaste of Kasar, from Bamhan or Brahman. A section
of Katia.

_Bamnaiha_.--(Belonging to a Brahman.) A section of Basor.

_Banaphar_, _Banafar_.--A clan of Rajputs. A section of Daharia.

_Banbhainsa_.--(Wild buffalo.) A section of Rawat (Ahir).

_Banda_.--(Tailless.) A section of Kirar.

_Banda Bagh_.--(Tailless tiger.) A section of Teli.

_Bandar_.--(A rocket-thrower.) Synonym of Kadera.

_Bandarwale_.--(One who catches monkeys.)--Subcaste of Pardhi.

_Bandesia_.--(A man of 52 districts.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Bandhaiya_.--A subcaste of Nunia who confine themselves to the
excavation of tanks and wells. Also a subcaste of Dhimar.

_Bandhaiya_.--(From Bandhogarh.) Subcaste of Nai.

_Bandhia_--(From _bandh_, an embankment.) A subcaste of Darzi and
Dhimar. A section of Chamar.

_Bandrele_.--(Monkey.) A section of Basor, and Barai.

_Banghore_.--(Wild horses.) A section of Dom (Mehtar).

_Bania_.--A caste. Subcaste of Bishnoi. A synonym of Sunar in
Sambalpur. A subcaste of Banjara. A section of Nandvansi Gauli.

_Banka_.--A small caste found principally in the Kalahandi State
which now forms part of Bengal. The caste was formed from military
service like the Khandaits, Paiks and Marathas, and some families
bear the names of different castes, as Brahman Banka, Kumhar Banka,
and so on. They were formerly notorious freebooters, but have now
settled down to cultivation. Each man, however, still carries a sword
or knife on his person, and in Kalahandi they are permitted to do
this without taking out a licence.

_Banku_.--(One who frequents sequestered parts of forests.) A sept
of Korku.

_Bansberia_.--(One who performs acrobatic feats on a stick or
bamboo.) Synonym of Kolhati.

_Bansia_.--(Angler.) From _bansi_, a fishing-hook. Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Bansphor_.--(A breaker of bamboos.) Synonym of Basor. Subcaste of
Mehtar and Mahli.

_Banstalai_.--(A tank with bamboo trees on its bank.) A section
of Teli.

_Bant_.--Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Bantia_.--(From _banat_, a red woollen blanket.) A section of
Oswal Bania.

_Baone_ or _Baonia_.--From the phrase _Bawan Berar_, a term applied
to the Province by the Mughals, because it paid fifty-two lakhs of
revenue, as against only eight lakhs realised from the adjoining
Jhadi or hilly country in the Central Provinces. Subcaste of Kunbi,
Mahar and Mali.

_Baoria_.--Synonym of Badhak.

_Bara-hazar._--(Twelve thousand.) Subcaste of Chero.

_Barade, Berari_.--A resident of Berar. Subcaste of Bahna, Barhai,
Chamar, Dhangar, Dhobi, Khatik, Mang and Nai.

_Baram_ or _Birm_.--Subcaste of Bhat.

_Barapatre_.--(A large leaf-plate.) A section of Koshti.

_Baraua_.--(A fisherman.) Synonym of Dhimar; title of Dhimar.

_Bardhia_.--(From _bardh_, a term for the edge of a weapon.) Synonym
of Sikligar.

_Bardia_.--One who uses bullocks for transport. Subcaste of Kumhar.

_Baretha_.--(A washerman.) Synonym for Dhobi.

_Barga_.--Subcaste of Oraon.

_Bargah_, [418] _Bargaha_, _Barghat_.--A small caste of cultivators
belonging principally to the Bilaspur District. They appear to
be immigrants from Rewah, where the caste is numerically strong,
and they are also found in the adjacent Districts of the United
Provinces and Bengal. In the United Provinces they are employed as
higher domestic servants and make leaf-plates, while their women act
as midwives. [419] Here they claim kinship with the Goala Ahirs, but
in the Central Provinces and Bengal they advance pretensions to be
Rajputs. They have a story, however, which shows their connection
with the Ahirs, to the effect that on one occasion Brahma stole
Krishna's cows and cowherds. Krishna created new ones to replace them,
exactly similar to those lost, but Brahma subsequently returned the
originals, and the Bargahas are the descendants of the artificial
cowherds created by Krishna. In Sarguja, Bargaha is used as a title
by Ahirs, while in Rewah the Bargahs are looked on as the bastard
offspring of Baghel Rajputs. Dr. Buchanan writes of them as follows:
[420] "In Gorakhpur the Rajput chiefs have certain families of Ahirs,
the women of which act as wet-nurses to their children, while the men
attend to their persons. These families are called Bargaha; they have
received, of course, great favours and many of them are very rich,
but others look down upon them as having admitted their women to too
great familiarity with their chiefs." In the United Provinces they
also claim to be Rajputs, as they returned themselves as a clan of
Rajputs in 1881. [421] Their position as described by Buchanan is
precisely the same as that of the Dauwa Ahirs, who are the household
servants of Bundela Rajputs in Bundelkhand, and the facts set forth
above leave little or no doubt that the Bargahs are a mixed caste,
arising from the connection of Rajputs with the Ahir women who were
their personal servants. In the Central Provinces no subdivisions of
the caste exist at present, but a separate and inferior subcaste is in
process of formation from those who have been turned out of caste. They
are divided for the purpose of marriage into exogamous _gotras_ or
clans, the names of which correspond to those of Rajputs, as Kaunsil,
Chandel, Rana, Bundela, Rathor, Baghel, Chauhan and others. Marriage
between members of the same clan and also between first cousins is
prohibited. The custom of _guranwat_ or exchanging girls in marriage
between families is very prevalent, and as there is a scarcity of girls
in the caste, a man who has not got a daughter must pay Rs. 100 to
Rs. 200 to obtain a bride for his son. On the arrival of the marriage
procession the bridegroom touches with a dagger a grass mat hung in
front of the marriage-shed. During the marriage the bridegroom's father
presents him with a grass ring, which he places on his wrist. The
hands of the bridegroom and bride are tied one over the other with a
piece of thread, and the bride's parents catching the hands say to the
bridegroom, 'We have given you our daughter; protect her.' The couple
then walk seven times round a sacrificial fire and a pestle and slab
containing seven pieces of turmeric, nuts and heaps of coloured rice,
the bride leading and kicking over a heap of rice from the slab at
each turn. The other common ceremonies are also performed. The Bargahs
do not tolerate sexual offences and expel a girl or married woman
who goes wrong. The Bargahs are usually cultivators in the Central
Provinces, but they consider it beneath their dignity to touch the
plough with their own hands. Many of them are mlguzrs or village
proprietors. They take food cooked without water from a Brahman,
and water only from a Rajput. Rajputs take water from their hands,
and their social position is fairly high.

_Bargandi_,--Synonym for Kaikari.

_Barghat_.--Synonym of Bargah.

_Barki_.--High. Subcaste of Rautia.

_Barkia_.--(A spinner of fine thread.) Subcaste of Mahar.

_Barmaiyan, Barmian, Malaiya_.--Subcaste of Basor, Dhimar and Gadaria.

_Baroni_.--Title of a female Dhimar.

_Barora_ or _Warkara_.--(Wild cat.) A subsept of the Uika clan of
Gonds in Betul.

_Barpaihi_.--(_Bar,_ banyan tree.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds
in Betul, so named because their priest offered food to their gods
on the leaves of a banyan tree.

_Barwa_.--Synonym for Garpagari. One who wards off hailstones from
the standing crops. Subcaste of Jogi.

_Bashishta_.--See Vasishta. A section of Vidur.

_Bastarha_.--A resident of Bastar State. Subcaste of Halba.

_Bathri_.--(From _batkur_, a vegetable.) A subcaste of Dhobi and Teli.

_Bathudia_.--Subcaste of Bhuiya.

_Batri_.--A grower of _batar_, a kind of pea. Subcaste of Teli.

_Batti_.--(A ball.) A subsept of the Uika clan of Gonds in Betul,
so named because their priest stole balls of cooked mahua. They do
not kill or eat goats or sheep, and throw away anything smelt by them.

_Bawan, Bawanjaye_.--_(Bawan_-52.) A subcaste of Saraswat Brahmans.

_Bawaria_.--A dweller of Bhanwargarh tract in Betul district. Subcaste
of Korku.

_Bawisa_.--(Twenty-two.) A subcaste of Gujarati Brahmans in Hoshangabad
and Makrai State.

_Bayar, Biyar, Biar_.--A small caste of labourers belonging to
the eastern Districts of the United Provinces, of whom about 200
persons were returned from Bilaspur in 1891. They are found in the
Korba zamindari, and are professional diggers or navvies, like the
Murhas. They are apparently a mixed caste derived from the primitive
tribes with some Hindu blood. They eat fowls and pork, but will not
take food from any other caste. They work by contract on the _dangri_
system of measurement, a _dangri_ being a piece of bamboo five cubits
long. For one rupee they dig a patch 8 _dangris_ long by one broad
and a cubit in depth, or 675 cubic feet. But this rate does not allow
for lift or lead.

_Bazigar_.--(An acrobat.) Synonym of Nat.

_Behar_.--(Cat.) A totemistic sept of Kawar.

_Behera_.--A subcaste of Taonla. A section of Tiyar. A title of Khadal.

_Belwar, Bilwar_.--A small caste of carriers and cattle-dealers
belonging to Oudh, whose members occasionally visit the northern
Districts of the Central Provinces. They say that their ancestors were
Sanadhya Brahmans, who employed bullocks as pack-animals, and hence,
being looked down on by the rest of the caste, became a separate body,
marrying among themselves.

_Benaika, Binaika_.--A subcaste of Parwar Bania, consisting of the
offspring of remarried widows or illegitimate unions. Probably also
found among other subcastes of Bania.

_Benatia_.--A subcaste of Sansia in Sambalpur.

_Bendiwala_.--Name of a minor Vishnuite order. See Bairagi.

_Benetiya, Benatia_.--Subcaste of Chasa and Sansia.

_Bengali_.--Bengali immigrants are usually Brahmans or Kayasths.

_Bengani_.--(Brinjal.) One of the 1444 sections of Oswal Bania.

_Benglah_.--An immigrant from Bengal. Subcaste of Bharbhunja.

_Beora Basia_.--(Hawk.) A totemistic sept of Bhatra.

_Beraria_, _Beradia_.--(Belonging to Berar.) A subcaste of Bahna,
Barai, Barhai, Chamar, Dhangar, Dhimar, Kasar and Kunbi.

_Beria_.--A caste of gipsies and vagrants, whose women are
prostitutes. Hence sometimes used generally to signify a prostitute. A
subcaste of Nat.

_Besra_.--(Hawk.) A totemistic sept of Bhatra and Rawat (Ahir).

_Besta_.--A Telugu caste of fishermen. They are also called Bhoi and
Machchnaik, and correspond to the Dhimars. They are found only in the
Chanda District, where they numbered 700 persons in 1911, and their
proper home is Mysore. They are a low caste and rear pigs and eat
pork, crocodiles, rats and fowls. They are stout and strong and dark
in colour. Like the Dhimars they also act as palanquin-bearers, and
hence has arisen a saying about them, 'The Besta is a great man when
he carries shoes,' because the head of a gang of palanquin-bearers
carries the shoes of the person who sits in it. At their marriages
the couple place a mixture of cummin and jaggery on each other's
heads, and then gently press their feet on those of the other seven
times. Drums are beaten, and the bridegroom places rings on the toes
of the bride and ties the _mangal-sutram_ or necklace of black beads
round her neck. They are seated side by side on a plough-yoke, and the
ends of their cloths are tied together. They are then taken outside
and shown the Great Bear, the stars of which are considered to be
the spirits of the seven principal Hindu Saints, and the pole-star,
Arundhati, who represents the wife of Vasishtha and is the pattern of
feminine virtue. On the following two days the couple throw flowers
at each other for some time in the morning and evening. Before the
marriage the bridegroom's toe-nails are cut by the barber as an act of
purification. This custom, Mr. Thurston [422] states, corresponds among
the Sudras to the shaving of the head among the Brahmans. The Bestas
usually take as their principal deity the nearest large river and call
it by the generic term of Ganga. On the fifth day after a death they
offer cooked food, water and sesamum to the crows, in whose bodies
the souls of the dead are believed to reside. The food and water are
given to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul, while the sesamum
is supposed to give it coolness and quench its heat. On the tenth day
the ashes are thrown into a river. The beard of a boy whose father is
alive is shaved for the first time before his marriage. Children are
tattooed with a mark on the forehead within three months of birth,
and this serves as a sect mark. A child is named on the eleventh day
after birth, and if it is subsequently found to be continually ailing
and sickly, the name is changed under the belief that it exercises
an evil influence on the child.

_Betala_.--(Goblin.) One of the 1444 sections of Oswal Bania.

_Bhadauria_.--(From Bhadawar in Gwalior State.) A clan of Rajputs. A
clan of Dangi in Saugor from whom Rajputs take daughters in marriage,
but do not give daughters to them. A surname of Sanadhia Brahman.

_Bhadonia_.--Subcaste of Dangi.

_Bhadoria_.--(A drum-beater.) Subcaste of Chamar.

_Bhadri_, _Bhaddari_.--A synonym for Joshi, having a derogatory sense,
as of one who begs with deceit or fraud.

_Bhadune_.--(From the month Bhadon.) A section of Kalar.

_Bhagat_.--(Devotee.) A section of Ahir or Gaoli, Barai and Panwar

_Bhains-Mara_.--(Killer of the buffalo.) A section of Kanjar.

_Bhainsa_.--(Buffalo.) A section of Chamar, Dhanwar, Ganda, Kawar,
Kanjar, Mali, Panka and Rawat (Ahir).

_Bhairon_.--(The god Bhairon.) A section of Panwar Rajput.

_Bhaiya_.--(Brother.) One of the 72 1/2 sections of Maheshri Bania.

_Bhala_.--(Spear.) One of the 72 1/2 sections of Maheshri Bania.

_Bhaldar_.--(A spear-man.) A class of Dahaits, who have commonly been
employed as village watchmen.

_Bhale Sultan_.--(Lords of the spear.) A clan of Rajputs.

_Bhamti_, _Bhamtia_.--Synonyms of Bhamta.

_Bhanare_.--Named after the town of Bhandara in the Central
Provinces. Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Bhand_, _Bhanr_. [423]--A small caste of story-tellers and
buffoons. The name is derived from the Sanskrit Bhanda, a jester,
and the caste are also known as Naqqal or actor. Only a trifling
number of Bhands are shown by the census as belonging to the Central
Provinces. Mr. Crooke remarks: "The Bhand is sometimes employed in
the courts of Rajas and native gentlemen of rank, where he amuses
the company at entertainments with buffoonery and a burlesque
of European and native manners, much of which is of a very coarse
nature. The Bhand is quite separate from and of a lower professional
rank than the Bahrupia. The bulk of the caste are Muhammadans, but
they have exogamous sections, some of which, as Kaithela (Kayasth),
Bamhaniya (Brahman), Gujartha (Gujar), Nonela (Lunia), and so on, are
derived from those of Hindu castes, and indicate that the caste is a
heterogeneous community recruited from different sources. There are
two recognised endogamous subcastes--the Chenr, which seems to mean
little (Hindi, _Chenra_), and the Kashmiri. The former trace their
origin to the time of Tamarlane, who, on the death of his son, gave
himself over to mourning for twelve years. Then one Sayyid Hasan,
a courtier of the Emperor, composed a humorous poem in Arabic,
which gained him the title of Bhanr. Sayyid Hasan is regarded as
the founder of the caste. Though he was a Sayyid the present Bhanrs
are either Shaikhs or Mughals; and the difference of faith, Sunni
and Shiah, is a bar to intermarriage. The Kashmiri Bhanrs are said
to be of quite recent origin, having been invited from Kashmir by
Nasir-ud-Din Haidar, king of Oudh." The Bhands perform their marriages
by the Nikah form, in which a Kazi officiates. In virtue of being
Muhammadans they abstain from pork and liquor. Dr. Buchanan [424]
quaintly described them as "Impudent fellows, who make long faces,
squeak like pigs, bark like dogs, and perform many other ludicrous
feats. They also dance and sing, mimicking and turning into ridicule
the dancing boys and girls, on whom they likewise pass many jokes,
and are employed on great occasions." The Bhand, in fact, seems to
correspond very nearly to the court jester of the Middle Ages.

_Bhandari_.--(A barber, also a cook in the Uriya country.) A synonym
for Nai. A subcaste of Gondhali. A section of Oswal Bania and
Halba. Title of the deputies of the chief _guru_ of the Satnami sect.

_Bhangi_.--(Hemp-smoker.) Synonym of Mehtar.

_Bhanr_.--Synonym of Bhand, a story-teller.

_Bhanwar_.--(A bee, also honey.) A section of Gadaria and Kawar.

_Bhaosar_.--Synonym of Chhipa.

_Bharadwaj_.--(A skylark. Name of a great Brahman Rishi or saint.) One
of the common eponymous sections of Brahmans. Also a section of Joshi,
Lohar, Prabhu, Sunar, and of several clans of Rajputs.

_Bharewa_.--(From _bharat_, a mixture of copper and lead.) A group
of brass or bell-metal workers classed with the Kasar caste, but of
lower social standing than the Kasars. A subcaste of Sunar in Raipur.

_Bhargava_.--(Born of Bhrigu Rishi.) A subcaste of Kanaujia Brahmans. A
section of Maratha Brahmans. Bhargava Dhusar is a subcaste of
Bania. See Bania-Dhusar.

_Bharia_.--(From the Bhar tribe.) A tribe. A subcaste of Baiga in
Mandla, and of Kol.

_Bharia-Bhumia_.--Synonym of Bharia.

_Bharotia_ or _Mudia_.--(Shaven.) Subcaste of Baiga, also of Ahir.

_Bharthi_.--Name of one of the ten orders of Gosains.

_Bhatia_.--A commercial caste of Sind and Gujarat, a few of whom
settle temporarily in the Central Provinces. Sir D. Ibbetson writes
of them: [425] "The Bhatias are a class of Rajputs, originally
coming from Bhatner, Jaisalmer and the Rajputana desert, who have
taken to domestic pursuits. The name would seem to show that they
were Bhatis (called Bhatti in the Punjab); but be that as it may,
their Rajput origin seems to be unquestioned. They stand distinctly
below the Khatri, and perhaps below the Arora, and are for the most
part engaged in petty shopkeeping, though the Bhatias of Dera Ismail
Khan are described as belonging to a widely-spread and enterprising
mercantile community. They are very strict Hindus, far more so than
the other trading classes of the western Punjab; and eschew meat and
liquor. They do not practise widow-marriage."

Mr. Crooke's account [426] leaves little doubt that the Bhatias are a
branch of the Bhatti or Yaduvansi Rajputs of Jaisalmer who have gone
into trade; and Colonel Tod expresses the same view: "The Bhattiah is
also one of the equestrian order converted into the commercial, and
the exchange has been to his advantage. His habits are like those of
the Arora, next to whom he ranks as to activity and wealth." [427] "The
chief occupation of the Bhatias," Mr. Crooke states, "is moneylending,
and to this they add trade of all kinds, agriculture, landholding and
Government service. Many of them go on expeditions to Arabia, Kabul,
Bokhara and other distant places of business. Many in Bombay carry
on trade with Zanzibar, Java and the Malay Peninsula."

_Bhatnagar_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Bhatpagar_.--(Wage of rice.) A section of Katia.

_Bhikshakunti_.--(_Bhiksha_, begging; _kunti_, lame.) A subcaste of
Kapewar who are the Bhats or bards of the caste.

_Bhil_.--A tribe. A subcaste of Pardhi.

_Bhilaophod_.--(Those who extract oil from the _bhilawa_ nut,
_Semecarpus anacardium_.) Subcaste of Kol.

_Bhilsaiyan_, _Bhilsia_, _Bhilasia_.--(From Bhilsa, a town in Gwalior
State.) A section and surname of Jijhotia Brahmans. A section of
Purania Sunar and of Rathor Teli and Teli.

_Bhima_.--A small caste belonging to the Mandla and Seoni
Districts. They are musicians of the Gond tribe and dance and beg
at their weddings. The caste are an offshoot of the Gonds, their
exogamous septs having Gond names, as Marabi, Markam, Dhurwa, Parteti,
Tekam and so on; but they now marry among themselves. They worship
the Gond god, Bura Deo, their own elders serving as priests. At
their performances the men play and dance, wearing hollow anklets
of metal with little balls of iron inside to make them tinkle. The
women are dressed like Hindu women and dance without ornaments. Their
instrument is called Tuma or gourd. It consists of a hollow piece of
bamboo fixed horizontally over a gourd. Over the bamboo a string is
stretched secured to a peg at one end and passing over a bridge at the
other. Little knobs of wax are made on the bamboo so that the string
touches them during its vibrations. The gourd acts as a sounding-board.

_Bhogta_.--Subcaste of Khairwar.

_Bhoi_.--(One who carries litters or palanquins.) Synonym of Dhimar
and Kahar. A title or honorific name for Gonds and one by which they
are often known. See article Kahar. A section of Binjhal.

_Bhoir_.--Synonym for Bhoyar.

_Bhojni_.--Subcaste of Chitrakathi. They serve the food at marriage
and other ceremonies.

_Bholia_.--(From _bhulna_, to forget.) Synonym of Bhulia.

_Bhona_.--A small caste of labourers in the Mandla District. They are
practically all employed by the local Pansaris (Barai) or _pan_-growers
in tending their _barejas_ or betel-vine gardens. There is some
ground for supposing that the Bhonas are an offshoot of the Bharia or
Bharia-Bhumia tribe of Jubbulpore, which is itself derived from the
Bhars. One of the sections of the Bhonas is named after the vulture,
and at their weddings a man of this section catches a young chicken
and bites off the head in imitation of a vulture.

_Bhondih_.--(From _bhond_, dung-beetle.) A section of Ahir.

_Bhonsla_.--A clan of Marathas to which the Rajas of Nagpur belong.

_Bhope_ or _Bhoall_.--Subcaste of Manbhao.

_Bhoriya_.--Synonym of Bhulia.

_Bhoyar_.--A caste. A subcaste of Koshti and Marar.

_Bhudes_.--(The gods on earth.) Title of Brahmans.

_Bhuinhar_.--Name of a landholding caste in Benares and Bengal who
claim to be Brahmans or Rajputs. They are also known as Babhan. A title
of the Bhuiya tribe. See article Bhuiya. A title of the Bhaina tribe.

_Bhumia_.--(Born from the land, or aboriginal.) A title of the Bharia
tribe in Jubbulpore, also a title of Baiga and Korku. A synonym of
Bhuiya. A subdivision of Gond. A section of Kurmi.

_Bhura_.--(Grey.) One of the sections of Oswal Bania. A proper name.

_Bhusar_.--(Lord of the earth.) A title of Brahman.

_Bhusarjin_.--(From _bhusa_, the chaff of wheat.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Bhuskate_.--(From _bhusa_, fodder, one who supplies fodder.) A
family name.

_Bhuta_.--A subtribe of Gond in Betul, the same as Koilabhuta. They
are said to be of immoral character.

_Biar_.--Synonym of Bayar.

_Bichhuwa_, _Bichhi_.--(From _bichhu_, scorpion.) A section of Dhobi
and Kawar.

_Bidur_.--Synonym of the Vidur caste.

_Biloria_.--(From _bilori_, marble stone.) A section of Chhipa.

_Bilwar_.--Synonym of Belwar, a carrier and cattle-dealer.

_Bind_.--A large non-Aryan caste of Bihar and the United Provinces, of
which 380 persons were returned in 1911. Sir H. Risley says of them:
[428] "They are a tribe employed in agriculture, earthwork, fishing,
hunting, making saltpetre and collecting indigenous drugs. Traditions
current among the caste profess to trace their origin to the Vindhya
hills, and one of these legends tells how a traveller, passing
by the foot of the hills, heard a strange flute-like sound coming
out of a clump of bamboos. He cut a shoot and took from it a fleshy
substance which afterwards grew into a man, the supposed ancestor of
the Binds. Another story says that the Binds and Nunias were formerly
all Binds and that the present Nunias are the descendants of a Bind
who consented to dig a grave for a Muhammadan king and was outcasted
for doing so." A third legend tells how in the beginning of all things
Mahadeo made a lump of earth and endowed it with life. The creature
thus produced asked Mahadeo what he should eat. The god pointed to
a tank and told him to eat the fish in it and the wild rice which
grew near the banks. Mr. Crooke [429] says that they use fish largely
except in the fortnight (Pitripaksh) sacred to the dead in the month of
Kunwar, and Sir H. Risley notes that after the rice harvest the Binds
wander about the country digging up the stores of rice accumulated
by field rats in their burrows. From four to six pounds of grain
are usually found, but even this quantity is sometimes exceeded. The
Binds also feast on the rats, but they deny this, saying that to do
so would be to their own injury, as a reduction of the next year's
find of grain would thus be caused.

_Binjhal_.--Synonym of Binjhwar.

_Binjhwar_.--A caste derived from the Baiga tribe. A subtribe of
Baiga and Gond. A subcaste of Gowari.

_Birchheya_.--(A dweller in the forest.) Subcaste of Ghosi.

_Birchkia_.--(From _birchka_, a tree.) A subcaste of Ghosi.

_Birhor._--A small Kolarian tribe of whom about 150 persons were
returned in 1911 from the Chota Nagpur States. The name means a dweller
in the forest. Sir H. Risley states that the Birhors live in tiny
huts made of branches of trees and leaves, and eke out a miserable
living by snaring hares and monkeys, and collecting jungle products,
especially the bark of the _chob_ creeper, [430] from which a coarse
kind of rope is made. They are great adepts at ensnaring monkeys and
other small animals, and sell them alive or eat them. Colonel Dalton
described them as, [431] "A small, dirty, miserable-looking race,
who have the credit of devouring their parents, and when I taxed them
with it they did not deny that such a custom had once obtained among
them. But they declared they never shortened lives to provide such
feasts and shrank with horror from the idea of any bodies but those of
their own blood-relatives being served up to them." It would appear
that this custom may be partly ceremonial, and have some object,
such as ensuring that the dead person should be born again in the
family or that the survivors should not be haunted by his ghost. It
has been recorded of the Bhunjias that they ate a small part of the
flesh of their dead parents. [432] Colonel Dalton considered the
Birhors to be a branch of the Kharia tribe, and this is borne out
by Dr. Grierson's statement that the specimen of the Birhor dialect
returned from the Jashpur State was really Kharia. [433] Elsewhere
the Birhor dialect resembles Mundari.

_Birjhia, Birjia._ (One who practises _bewar_ or shifting cultivation
in a forest.) Subcaste of Binjhwar, Baiga and Korwa.

_Birkhandia._--From Birkhand (Sand of heroes), a name for Rajputana. A
section of Teli.

_Birtiya._ Title of Nai or barber.

_Bisen, Bisan._--A clan of Rajput. A section of Daharia and of Panwar
Rajput. A section of Marar.

_Bobaiaya._--(From Bobbili, a town in Madras.) A section of Teli
in Chanda.

_Bogam._--A name for Madrasi prostitutes, perhaps a separate
caste. Their honorific title is Sani.

_Bohra._--A Muhammadan caste. A section of Oswal Bania.

_Bombay._--A subdivision of Valmiki Kayasth.

_Bondoya_--A resident of Jitgarh and the Pachmarhi tract of the
Central Provinces. Subcaste of Korku.

_Bopchi._--A section of Panwar Rajput.

_Bopchi_--A small caste in the Wardha District numbering a few hundred
persons. They are in reality Korkus, the name being a corruption of
that of the Bendoya subtribe, but they have discarded their proper
tribal name and formed a separate caste. They retain some of the Korku
sept names, while others are derived from the Marathi words or from
the names of other castes, and these facts indicate that the Bopchis
are of mixed descent from Korkus and other low Maratha castes with
which unions have taken place. As might be expected, they are very
tolerant of sexual and social offences, and do not expel a woman who
has a _liaison_ with a man of another caste or takes food from him. She
is readmitted to caste intercourse, but has to undergo the penalty
of washing her body with cowdung and having a lock of her hair cut
off. A man committing a similar offence has his upper lip shaved. They
employ Gosains for their _gurus_ and their social position is very low.

_Borakar._(A mat-maker.) Synonym of Gopal.

_Borjharia._--(_Bor_-plum.) A sept of Halba.

_Brahmachare._--(A celibate.) Subcaste of Manbhao.

_Brahman Gaur_, or _Bamhan Gaur_.--A branch of the Gaur clan of
Rajputs. A subcaste of Bhat.

_Brid-dhari_.--Begging Bhats. Subcaste of Bhat.

_Brihaspati, Brahaspati_.--An eponymous section of Brahmans.

_Buchar_.--A corruption of the English word 'butcher.' Subcaste of
Khatik in Agra.

_Budalgir_.--(From _budla_, a leathern bag made for the transport
and storage of oil and _ghi_ (butter).) Subcaste of Chamar.

_Bukekari_.--(A seller of scented powder _(bukka)_.) Synonym of Atari.

_Bundela_.--A clan of Rajputs of mixed descent. Name probably from
the Vindhya hills. A subcaste of Basor. A sept of Manihar and Rawat.

_Bundelkhandi_.--A resident of Bundelkhand. Subcaste of Basdewa,
Barai, Basor, Chamar, Darzi, Dhobi, Kumhar, Lohar, Nai and Sunar.

_Bundhrajia_.--Subcaste of Kamar.

_Bunkar_.--(A weaver.) Title of Balahi.

_Burad_.--A synonym for the Basor caste of bamboo-workers. A section
of Koshti and Oswal Bania.

_Burthia_.--Subcaste of Charan Banjara.

_Burud_.--(A bamboo-worker.) Synonym for Basor in the Maratha country.

_Butka_.--(One who brings leaves.) Subcaste of Chasa.

_Byahut_.--(Married.) Subcaste of Kalar.

_Chadar_.--A caste. A subcaste of Kori.

_Chakere_.--(One who uses the potter's wheel in localities where
other Kumhars do not use it.) Subcaste of Kumhar.

_Chakla_.--(A professional washerman.) Synonym for Dhobi.

_Chalukya_.--A synonym for Solanki Rajputs. (Perhaps from _chhullu_
or _challu_, hollow of the hand.) A subcaste of Panwar Rajput.

_Chamar, Chamara_.--(From _chamra_, a hide.) The well-known caste of
tanners. A subcaste of Banjara, Barhai and Darzi.

_Chamar Gaur_.--(Chamar and Gaur.) A well-known clan of Rajputs. See

_Chambhar_.--Name of the Chamar caste in Berar.

_Chamra_.--A contemptuous diminutive for the Chamar caste in

_Chandan, Chandania_.--(Sandalwood.) A section of Chamar, Kawar,
Khangar and Kurmi.

_Chandel_.--A famous clan of Rajputs. See Rajput-Chandel.

_Chandewar_.--(Belonging to Chanda.) Subcaste of Injhwar.

_Chandi_.--(One who hides behind a fishing-net.) A sept of Korku.

_Chandra, Chandraha_. (From _chanda_, the moon.) A section of Gujar
and Teli.

_Chandravansi_ or _Somvansi_.--(Descended from the moon.) A clan
of Rajputs.

_Chandravedi_.--Synonym of Sanaurhia, meaning 'One who observes
the moon.'

_Chankhatia_.--A subcaste of Bhuiya and Chamar.

_Channagri_.--A small Jain sect. A subcaste of Bania.

_Chanti_.--Name derived from _chiti_, an ant. Subcaste of Kawar. A
section of Kumhar.

_Chanwar_.--(Whisk.) A totemistic sept of Kawar and Pabia.

_Charak_.--A subdivision of Maratha Brahman; a section of Brahman.

_Charan_.--Subcaste of Banjara and Bhat. Title of Bhat in Rajputana.

_Chardeve_.--A clan of Gonds worshiping four gods and paying special
reverence to the tortoise.

_Charghar_.--(Four houses.) A subdivision of Saraswat Brahmans.

_Charnagri_.--A Jain sect or subcaste of Bania.

_Chatrapati_.--(Lord of the umbrella.) Title of the ancient Indian

_Chatri, Chhatri_.--A common synonym for a Rajput. A subcaste of

_Chaturbhuji_.--(Four-armed.) An epithet of Vishnu. A title of the
Chauhan clan of Rajputs. A class of Bairagis or religious mendicants.

_Chaube, Chaturvedi_.--(From Chaturvedi, or one learned in the
four Vedas.) A surname for Kanaujia, Jijhotia and other Hindustani
Brahmans. Subcaste of Banjara.

_Chaubhaiya_.--(Four brothers.) A subdivision of Saraswat
Brahmans. They take wives from the Athbhaiya subdivision, but do not
give girls to them in marriage.

_Chaudhri_, _Chaudhari_, _Choudhri_.--(A headman, the first
person.) Title of Kalar Panwar, Rajput and other castes; title of
Dhobi, vice-president of the caste committee. A section of Ahir,
Maheshri Bania, Gadaria, Gujar, Halba and Marar (Mali). A subdivision
of Kapewar.

_Chauhan_.--A famous clan of Rajputs. Name of a low caste of village
watchmen in Chhattisgarh, perhaps the illegitimate descendants of
Panwar Rajputs.

_Chauka_.--Title of the Kabirpanthi religious service. The _chauk_
is a sanctified place on the floor of the house or yard, plastered
with cowdung and marked out with lines of wheat-flour or quartz-dust
within which ceremonies are performed.

_Chaukhutia_.--A term which signifies a bastard in
Chhattisgarh. Subcaste of Bhunjia.

_Chauske_.--Subcaste of Kalar. They are so called because they
prohibit the marriage of persons having a common ancestor up to
four generations.

_Chaurasia_.--Resident of a Chaurasi or estate of eighty-four
villages. Subcaste of Barai and Bhoyar. A section of Dhimar and
Kumhar. Many estates are called by this name, grants of eighty-four
villages having been commonly made under native rule.

_Chawara_, _Chaura_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs.

_Chenchuwar_, _Chenchuwad_ or _Chenchu_--A forest tribe of the Telugu
country of whom a few persons were returned from the Chanda District
in 1911. In Madras the tribe is known as Chenchu, and the affix _wad_
or _wadu_ merely signifies person or man. [434] The marriage ceremony
of the Chenchus may be mentioned on account of its simplicity. The
couple sometimes simply run away together at night and return next day
as husband and wife, or, if they perform a rite, walk round and round a
bow and arrow stuck into the ground, while their relations bless them
and throw rice on their heads. Each party to a marriage can terminate
it at will without assigning any reason or observing any formality. The
bodies of the dead are washed and then buried with their weapons.

_Chenr_.--(Little.) Subcaste of Bhand.

_Cheorakuta_.--(One who prepares _cheora_ or pounded rice.) Subcaste
of Dhuri.

_Chero_. [435]--A well-known tribe of the Munda or Kolarian family,
found in small numbers in the Chota Nagpur Feudatory States. They
are believed to have been at one time the rulers of Bihar, where
numerous monuments are attributed, according to the inquiries of
Buchanan and Dalton, to the Kols and Cheros. "In Shahabad [436]
also most of the ancient monuments are ascribed to the Cheros, and it
is traditionally asserted that the whole country belonged to them in
sovereignty. An inscription at Budh Gaya mentions one Phudi Chandra who
is traditionally said to have been a Chero. The Cheros were expelled
from Shahabad, some say by the Sawaras (Saonrs), some say by a tribe
called Hariha; and the date of their expulsion is conjectured to be
between the fifth and sixth centuries of the Christian era. Both
Cheros and Sawaras were considered by the Brahmans of Shahabad as
impure or Mlechchas, but the Harihas are reported good Kshatriyas.

"The overthrow of the Cheros in Mithila and Magadha seems to have
been complete. Once lords of the Gangetic provinces, they are now
found in Shahabad and other Bihar Districts only holding the meanest
offices or concealing themselves in the woods skirting the hills
occupied by their cousins, the Kharwars; but in Palamau they retained
till a recent period the position they had lost elsewhere. A Chero
family maintained almost an independent rule in that pargana till
the accession of the British Government; they even attempted to hold
their castles and strong places against that power, but were speedily
subjugated, forced to pay revenue and submit to the laws. They were,
however, allowed to retain their estates; and though the rights
of the last Raja of the race were purchased by Government in 1813,
in consequence of his falling into arrears, the collateral branches
of the family have extensive estates there still. According to their
own traditions (they have no trustworthy annals) they have not been
many generations in Palamau. They invaded that country from Rohtas,
and with the aid of Rajput chiefs, the ancestors of the Thakurais of
Ranka and Chainpur drove out and supplanted a Rajput Raja of the Raksel
family, who retreated into Sarguja and established himself there.

"All the Cheros of note who assisted in the expedition obtained
military service grants of land, which they still retain. The Kharwars
were then the people of most consideration in Palamau, and they
allowed the Cheros to remain in peaceful possession of the hill tracts
bordering on Sarguja. It is popularly asserted that at the commencement
of the Chero rule in Palamau they numbered twelve thousand families,
and the Kharwars eighteen thousand; and if an individual of one or
the other is asked to what tribe he belongs, he will say, not that he
is a Chero or a Kharwar, but that he belongs to the twelve thousand
or to the eighteen thousand, as the case may be. The Palamau Cheros
now live strictly as Rajputs and wear the _paita_ or caste thread."

It has been suggested in the article on Khairwar that the close
connection between the two tribes may arise from the Kharwars or
Khairwars having been an occupational offshoot of the Cheros and

In Palamau [437] the Cheros are now divided into two subcastes,
the Bara-hazar or twelve thousand, and the Terah-hazar or thirteen
thousand, who are also known as Birbandhi. The former are the higher
in rank and include most of the descendants of former ruling families,
who assume the title Babuan. The Terah-hazar are supposed to be the
illegitimate offspring of the Bara-hazar.

"The distinctive physical traits of the Cheros," Colonel Dalton states,
"have been considerably softened by the alliances with pure Hindu
families, which their ancient power and large possessions enabled
them to secure; but they appear to me still to exhibit an unmistakable
Mongolian physiognomy. They vary in colour, but are usually of a light
brown. They have, as a rule, high cheek-bones, small eyes obliquely
set, and eyebrows to correspond, low broad noses, and large mouths
with protuberant lips."

_Cherwa_.--Subcaste of Kawar.

_Chetti_.--Subcaste of Gandli.

_Chhachan_.--(A hawk.) A section of Rawat (Ahir).

_Chhadesia_.--(A man of six districts.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Chhadidar_ or _Darwan_.--Title of the Dahaits, who were door-keepers
of the Rajas of Mahoba in former times.

_Chhanava Kule_.--(The ninety-six houses.) A subcaste of Maratha.

_Chhatakia_.--An illegitimate group of the Kumhar caste.

_Chhattisgarhi, Chhattisgarhia_.--Resident of Chhattisgarh or the
region of the thirty-six forts, a name given to the eastern tract of
the Central Provinces. Subcaste of Bahna, Darzi and Halba.

_Chhehghar (Chhenghar)_.--(Members of the six houses.) A hypergamous
division of Kanaujia Brahmans. They take daughters from the other
two divisions, but do not give their daughters to them.

_Chhipa_.--(A dyer.) Synonym of Darzi.

_Chhoha_ or _Saroria_.--A subcaste of Agharia of mixed descent.

_Chholia_.--(Rubbish.) A section of Rajjhar.

_Chhote_.--(Inferior.) Subcaste of Agharia and Teli.

_Chhoti Pangat_.--A subcaste of Halba, Synonym Surait. Chhoti Pangat
signifies the inferior caste feast, and the implication is that these
members cannot join in the proper feast.

_Chhotki Bhir or Gorhi_.--(Low.) Subcaste of Rautia.

_Chhura_,--(Razor.) A section of Panka. It was their business to
shave other members of the caste after a death;

_Chicham_.--(Hawk.)--A sept of Gonds.

_Chicheria_.--(From _church_, forelock, which the children of this
sept wear.) A sept of Dhimar.

_Chika_.--Subcaste of Majhwar.

_Chikwa_.--Synonym of Khatik.

_Chinchkul_.--A section of Komti. They abstain from the use of ginger
and from the juice of the _bhilawa_ or marking-nut tree.

_Chita Purdhi, Chilewala_.--(Leopard-hunter.) A subcaste of Pardhi.

_Chiturkar, Chitrakar_.--(A painter.) Synonym for Chitari.

_Chiter_.--(A painter.) See Chitari.

_Chitevari_.--(One who makes clay idols.) Synonym for Mochi.

_Chitpawan_.--(The pure in heart.) A synonym for Konkanasth Brahman.

_Chitragupta Vansi_.--(Descendants of Chitragupta.) A name for

_Chobdar_.--(A mace-bearer.) Title of Dahait.

_Chorbans_.--(Family of thieves.) A section of Chamar.

_Chourdhar_.--(A whisk-carrier.) A section of Sunar.

_Chuhra_.--Subcaste of Mehtar. Name for the sweeper caste in the

_Chungia_.--(One who smokes a leaf-pipe.) Subcaste of Chamar and

_Chunwiha_.--(From _chunri_, a coloured sheet worn by women.) A
section of Tamera.

_Churha_.--(Thief.) A subcaste of Sunar. A section of Chhipa.

_Cutchwaha_.--Clan of Rajput. Synonym for Kachhwaha.

_Daharia_.--(From Dahar, the old name of the Jubbulpore country.) A
clan of Rajputs which has developed into a caste. A subcaste of Bhoyar,
Kalar, Mahar, Maratha and Teli. A section of Chadar, Chamar and Katia.

_Dahat_.--A variant for Dahait. A subcaste of Khangar.

_Dahia_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs.

_Daijanya_.--Subcaste of Chamar. They are so called because their
women act as _dai_ or midwives.

_Dakhne, Dakshne, Dakshni, Dakshini._--(Belonging to the
Deccan.) Subcaste of Bahna, Chamar, Gondhali, Gurao, Kunbi, Mahar,
Mang and Nai.

_Dakochia_.--A synonym for Bhadri, an astrologer.

_Dal_.--(From _dal_, an army.) Subcaste of Khond.

_Dalboha, Dalbuha_.--(One who carries _dhoolies_ or
palanquins.) Subcaste of Ghasia and Katia.

_Dalia_.--(From _dal_ or the pulse of Burhanpur which had a great
reputation). Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Dal Khalsa_.--(Army of God.) Title of the Sikh army.

_Dandewala_.--(One who performs acrobatic feats on a stick or
bamboo.) Synonym for Kolhati.

_Dandi_.--(One who carries a stick.) Name of a class of religious
mendicants. See article Gosain.

_Dandsena_.--(One who carries a stick.) Subcaste of Kalar.

_Dang-charha._--(A rope-climber.) Synonym of Nut.

_Dangiwara_.--Name of part of the Saugor District, which is called
after the Dangi caste. Subcaste of Kadera.

_Dangua_.--(A hill-dweller.) Subcaste of Taonla.

_Dangur_.--A small caste of hemp weavers numbering about 100 persons,
and residing almost entirely in the village of Masod in Betul
District. They are of the same standing as the caste of Kumrawat
or Patbina which pursues this occupation in other Districts, but
acknowledge no connection with them and are probably an occupational
offshoot of the Kunbi caste, from whose members they readily accept
any kind of cooked food. Like many other small occupational castes
with no definite traditions, they profess to have a Kshatriya origin,
calling themselves Bhagore Rajputs, while their families are known
by such high-sounding titles as Rathor, Chauhan, Gaur, Solanki and
other well-known Rajput names. These pretensions have no foundation
in fact, and the Dangurs formerly did not abjure pork, while they
still eat fowls and drink liquor. They neither bathe nor clean their
kitchens daily. They may eat food taken from one place to another,
but not if they are wearing shoes, this being only permissible in
the case when the bridegroom takes his food wearing his marriage shoes.

_Dantele_.--(With teeth.) A section of Purania Sunars in Saugor.

_Daraihan_.--A small caste of debased Rajputs found in the Bilaspur
District of Chhattisgarh and numbering some 2000 persons in 1901. They
say that their ancestors were Rajputs from Upper India who settled
in Chhattisgarh some generations back in the village of Dargaon
in Raipur District. Thence they were given the name of Dargaihan,
which has been corrupted into Daraihan. Others say that the name is
derived from _dari_, a prostitute, but this is perhaps a libel. In
any case they do not care about the name Daraihan and prefer to
call themselves Kshatriyas. They have now no connection with the
Rajputs of Upper India, and have developed into an endogamous group
who marry among themselves. It seems likely that the caste are an
inferior branch of the Daharia cultivating caste of Chhattisgarh,
which is derived from the Daharia clan of Rajputs. [438]

Like other Rajputs the Daraihans have an elaborate system of septs
and subsepts, the former having the names of Rajput clans, while the
latter are taken from the eponymous _gotras_ of the Brahmans. There
are fourteen septs, named as a rule after the principal Rajput clans,
of whom four, the Chandel, Kachhwaha, Dhandhul and Sakrawara, rank
higher than the other ten, and will take daughters from these in
marriage, but not give their daughters in return. Besides the septs
they have the standard Brahmanical _gotras_, as Kausilya, Bharadwaj,
Vasishtha and so on to the number of seven, and the members of each
sept are divided into these _gotras_. Theoretically a man should
not take a wife whose sept or _gotra_ is the same as his own. The
marriage of first cousins is forbidden, and while the grandchildren
of two sisters may intermarry, for the descendants of a brother
and a sister the affinity is a bar till the third generation. But
the small numbers of the caste must make the arrangement of matches
very difficult, and it is doubtful whether these rules are strictly
observed. They permit the practice of Gunravat or giving a bride for
a bride. In other respects the social customs of the caste resemble
those of their neighbours, the Daharias, and their rules as to the
conduct of women are strict. The men are well built and have regular
features and fair complexions, from which their Rajput ancestry may
still be recognised. They wear the sacred thread. The Daraihans are
good and intelligent cultivators, many of them being proprietors or
large tenants, and unlike the Daharias they do not object to driving
the plough with their own hands. In the poorer families even the
women work in the fields. They have a strong clannish feeling and
will readily combine for the support or protection of any member of
the caste who may be in need of it.

_Darbania_.--(Door-keeper.) Title of Khangur.

_Darshani_.--Title of the most holy members of the Kanphata Jogis.

_Darshni_.--(From _darshan_, seeing, beholding, as of a god.) A
sub-division of Jogi.

_Darwan_.--(A door-keeper.) Title of Dahait.

_Darwe_ or _Dalwe_.--A subcaste of Gonds in Chanda; the Darwes are
also called Naik.

_Darwesh_.--Persian name for a Muhammadan Fakir or religious mendicant.

_Darzi_.--A caste of tailors. Subcaste of Ghasia.

_Das_.--(Servant.) Used as the termination of their names by
Bairagis or religious mendicants. A term applied by Pankas and other
Kabirpanthis to themselves.

_Dasa_.--(Ten.) A subdivision of Agarwala and other subcastes of Bania,
meaning those of pure blood.

_Dasghar_.--(Ten houses.) One of the three subdivisions of Kanaujia
Brahmans. They give their daughters to members of the Chheghar or
six houses and receive them from the Panchghar or five houses.

_Dasnami_.--A member of the ten orders. Synonym for Gosain.

_Datta_ or _Dutt_.--Surname of Bengali Kayasths.

_Daune_.--A subdivision of Prabhu or Parbhu in Nagpur, so called on
account of their living in the island of Diu, a Portuguese possession.

_Deccani_.--See Dakhne.

_Dehalwi_.--(From Delhi.) A subdivision of Gaur Kayasths.

_Dehri_.--(A worshipper.) Subcaste of Sudh.

_Dekkala_.--(A genealogist.) Subcaste of Madgi.

_Delki_.--Subcaste of Kharia.

_Deo_.--(God.) A hereditary title borne by certain Feudatory Chiefs. A
surname of Karhara Brahmans in Saugor. A subcaste of Gandli in Chanda.

_Deobansi_.--(A descendant of a god.) Subcaste of Patwa.

_Deogarhia_ or _Rajkunwar_.--(From Deogarh.) A subcaste of Pardhan. A
subcaste of Audhelia made up of prostitutes. A sept of Dhimar.

_Deokia_.--Title used in the Bedar caste.

_Deoputra_.--(Son of god.) Synonym of Charan.

_Desa_ or _Kota_.--Subcaste of Balija.

_Desai_.--A variant for Deshmukh or a Maratha revenue officer. Title
of the Pardhan caste.

_Desawal_.--A subdivision of Brahman in Jubbulpore. They take their
name from Disa, a town in Palanpur State in Bombay Presidency.

_Desha, Desaha_.--(Belonging to the home country.) The name is usually
applied to immigrants from Malwa or Hindustan. A subcaste of Ahir,
Bargah, Bari, Chamar, Dhuri, Gadaria, Kalar, Kol, Kurmi, Lakhera,
Lohar, Mahar, Sunar and Teli.

_Deshastha_.--A subcaste of Maratha Brahmans inhabiting the country
(Desh) above the Western Ghats. A subcaste of Gurao.

_Deshkar_.--(One belonging to the country.) A subcaste of Gondhali,
Gurao, Kasar, Koshti, Kunbi, Mahar, Mali, Maratha, Nai, Sunar and Teli.

_Deshmukh_.--Under Maratha rule the Deshmukh was a Pargana officer
who collected the revenue of the Pargana or small subdivision, and
other taxes, receiving a certain share. The office of Deshmukh was
generally held by a leading Kunbi of the neighbourhood. He also held
revenue-free land in virtue of his position. The Deshmukh families now
tend to form a separate subcaste of Kunbis and marry among themselves.

_Deshpande_.--The Deshpande was the Pargana accountant. He was
generally a Brahman and the right-hand man of the Deshmukh, and having
the advantage of education he became powerful like the Deshmukh. Now
used as a surname by Maratha Brahmans.

_Deswali_.--Synonym for Mina.

_Devadasi_.--(Handmaidens of the gods.) Synonym for Kasbi.

_Devarukhe_.--A subdivision of Maratha Brahmans. The word is derived
from Devarishi, a Shakha (branch) of the Atharva Veda, or from
Devarukh, a town in Ratnagiri District of Bombay Presidency. Among
Brahmans they hold rather a low position.

_Dewangan_.--(From the old town of this name on the Wardha
river.) Subcaste of Koshti.

_Dhaighar_.--(2 1/2 houses.) A subcaste of Khatri.

_Dhakan_.--(A witch.) Subcaste of Bhat.

_Dhakar_.--Name of a caste in Bastar. A clan of Rajputs. A subcase
of Barai, Bania and Kirar. A sept of Halba.

_Dhalgar_.--A small occupational caste who made leather shields,
and are now almost extinct as the use of shields has gone out of
fashion. They are Muhammadans, but Mr. Crooke [439] considers them to
be allied to the Dabgars, who make leather vessels for holding oil
and _ghi_ and are also known as Kuppesaz. The Dabgars are a Hindu
caste whose place in the Central Provinces is taken by the Budalgir
Chamars. These receive their designation from _budla_, the name of
the leather bag which they make. _Budlas_ were formerly employed
for holding _ghi_ or melted butter, oil and the liquid extract of
sugarcane, but vegetable oil is now generally carried in earthen
vessels slung in baskets, and _ghi_ in empty kerosene tins. Small
bottles of very thin leather are still used by scent-sellers for
holding their scents, though they also have glass bottles. The song of
the Leather Bottel recalls the fact that vessels for holding liquids
were made of leather in Europe prior to the introduction of glass. The
Dhalgars also made targets for archery practice from the hides of
buffaloes; and the similar use of the hides of cattle in Europe
survives in our phrase of the bull's eye for the centre of the target.

_Dhamonia_.--(From Dhamoni, a town in Saugor.) A subcaste of Sonkar. A
territorial sept of Darzi and Dhobi.

_Dhanak Sammani_.--(One who reverences the bow.) A section of Barai.

_Dhandere_.--(Probably from Dhundhar, an old name of Jaipur or Amber
State.) A sept of Rajputs.

_Dhangar_.--(A farmservant.) Synonym of Oraon.

_Dhanka_.--Perhaps a variant for Dhangar. Subcaste of Oraon.

_Dhanoj_, _Dhanoje_.--(From _dhangar_, a shepherd.) Subcaste of Are
and Kunbi.

_Dhanpagar_.--(One serving for a pittance of paddy.) A section of Teli.

_Dhanuhar_.--(A corrupt form of Dhanusdhar or a holder of a
bow.) Synonym of Dhanwar.

_Dhanuk_.--(A bowman.) A caste. A subcaste of Mehtar.

_Dhanushban_.--(Bow and arrow.) A sept of Kawar.

_Dharampuria_.--(Resident of Dharampur.) Subcaste of Dhobi.

_Dhare_.--Title of Gowari.

_Dhari_.--A subcaste of Banjara. They are the bards of the caste.

_Dharkar_.--Subcaste of Basor.

_Dharmik_.--(Religious or virtuous.) A subcaste of Mahar and Maratha.

_Dhed_.--Synonym for Mahar.

_Dhengar_.--A subcaste of Bharewa (Kasar) and Gadaria.

_Dhera_. [440]--A small Telugu caste of weavers, the bulk of whom
reside in the Sonpur State, transferred to Bengal in 1905. The Dheras
were brought from Orissa by the Raja of Sonpur to make clothes for
the images of the gods, which they also claim to be their privilege in
Puri. Their exogamous groups are named after animals, plants or other
objects, and they practise totemism. The members of the Surya or sun
group will not eat during an eclipse. Those of the Nalla (black) sept
will not wear black clothes. Those of the Bansethi and Bhanala septs
will not use the _bandi_, a kind of cart from which they consider their
name to be derived. The Otals take their name from _utti_, a net, from
which pots are hung, and they will not use this net. Those of the Gunda
sept, who take their name from _gunda_, a bullet, will not eat any
game shot with a gun. Marriage within the sept is prohibited, but the
Dheras always, where practicable, arrange the marriage of a boy with
his maternal uncle's daughter. Even in childhood the members of such
families address each other as brother-in-law and sister-in-law. When
the bridegroom and bride go home after the marriage ceremony, the
bridegroom's sister bars the door of the house and will not let them
in until they have severally promised to give her their daughter for
her son. A girl must be married before arriving at adolescence on pain
of permanent exclusion from the caste. If a suitable husband has not
therefore been found when the period approaches, the parents marry
the girl to her elder sister's husband or any other married man. She
is not bound to enter into conjugal relations with the man to whom
she is thus united, and with his consent she may be consequently
married to any other man in the guise of a widow. If a bachelor takes
such a girl to wife, he must first be married to a _sahara_ tree
(_Streblus asper_). When a betrothal is arranged, an elderly member
of the bridegroom's family proceeds to the bride's house and asks her
people three times in succession whether the betrothal is arranged,
and at each reply in the affirmative ties a knot in his cloth. He
then goes home and in the bridegroom's house solemnly unties the
knots over another cloth which is spread on the ground. This cloth
is then considered to contain the promises and it is wrapped up and
carefully put away to keep them as if they were material objects.

_Dherha_.--(Brother-in-law or paternal aunt's husband.) Title of

_Dhimar_.--A caste. Subcaste of Kori.

_Dhimra_.--Synonym for Dhimar.

_Dhobi_.--The caste of washermen. A sept of Bharia and Bhaina.

_Dhokhede_.--One of doubtful parentage. A sept of Teli.

_Dholewar_.--(From _dhola_, a drum.) A subcaste of Bhoyar and Gaoli. A
section of Basor.

_Dholi_.--(A minstrel.) Subcaste of Bhat.

_Dhubela_.--Origin perhaps from the Dhobi caste. Subcaste of Basor.

_Dhulbajia_.--(From _dhol_, a drum.) A subcaste of Chamar, also known
as Daijania.

_Dhulia_, _Dholin_, _Dholi_.--(A player on a _dhol_ or drum.) Synonym
for the Basor caste. A subcaste of Gond in Chanda and Betul. A subcaste
of Mahar.

_Dhunak Pathan_.--Synonym for Bahna.

_Dhunia_.--(From _dhunna_, to card cotton.) Synonym for Bahna.

_Dhunka_.--(A cotton-cleaner.) Subcaste of Kadera.

_Dhur Gond_.--(From _dhur_, dust.) A subcaste of Gonds. They are also
known as Rawanvansi or descendants of Rawan.

_Dhuri_.--A caste of grain-parchers. A subcaste of Dhimar.

_Dhuria_.--Subcaste of Nagasia and Dhimar. They are so called because
they mark the forehead of the bride with dust (_dhur_) taken from
the sole of the bridegroom's foot.

_Dhurwa_.--The word may be derived from _dhur_, dust. Dhur is a name
given to the body of Gonds as opposed to the Raj-Gonds. One of the
commonest septs of Gonds. A sept of Baiga, Kolta, Kalar and Nat. A
title of Parja.

_Dhusar_.--Subcaste of Bania.

_Dhusia_.--Subcaste of Murha.

_Digambari_.--A sect of Jain Banias who do not clothe their idols and
apply saffron to their feet. Also a class of Bairagis or religious

_Diharia_ or _Kisan_.--(One who lives in a village or a
cultivator.). Subcaste of Korwa.

_Dikhit_, _Dikshit_, _Dixit_.--(The Initiator.) A subcaste of
Brahman. A clan of Rajputs of the solar race formerly dominant in
the United Provinces.

_Dila_.--(A pointed stick tied to a calf's mouth to prevent him from
sucking.) A totemistic sept of Kawar. They do not use a stick in this
manner. A section of Ahir.

_Dillawal_.--A subcaste of Kasar. Those belonging to or coming
from Delhi.

_Dingkuchia_.--(One who castrates cattle and ponies.) Subcaste
of Ghasia.

_Dipawalia_.--(One who supplies oil for the lamps at Diwali.) A sept
of Teli.

_Dipbans_.--(Son of the lamp.) Title of Teli.

_Diwan_.--Title of the members of the Dahait caste committee.

_Dixit_.--See Dikhit.

_Dobaile_.--(One who yokes two bullocks to the oil-press.) Subcaste
of Telis in the Nagpur country.

_Dobisya_.--(Two score.) Subcaste of Halwai.

_Doda_ or _Dor_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs.

_Dogle_.--Name applied to Kayasths of illegitimate descent.

_Dohor_. [441]--A small caste of Berar, who are really Chamars;
in the Central Provinces the Dohors are a well-known subcaste of
Chamars, but in Berar they appear to have obtained a separate name,
under which about 6000 persons were returned in 1911. They work in
leather like the Chamars or Mochis. With the ambition of bettering
their social status among the Hindus the caste strictly observe the
sanctity of animal life. No Dohor may molest an animal or even pelt
it with stones. A man who sells a cow or bullock to butchers is put
out of caste, but if he repents and gets the animal back before it is
slaughtered, a fine of Rs. 5 only is imposed. If, on the other hand,
the animal is killed, the culprit must give his daughter in marriage
without taking any price from the bridegroom, and must feed the whole
caste and pay a fine of Rs. 50, which is expended on liquor. Failing
this he is expelled from the community. Similarly the Pardeshi Dohors
rigidly enforce infant-marriage. If a girl is not married before
she is ten her family are fined and put out of caste until the fine
is paid. And if the girl has leprosy or any other disease, which
prevents her from getting married, a similar penalty is imposed on
the family. Nevertheless the Dohors are considered to be impure and
are not allowed to enter Hindu temples; the village barber does not
shave them nor the washerman wash their clothes. A bachelor desiring
to marry a widow must first perform the ceremony with a _rui_ or
cotton-tree. But such a union is considered disgraceful; the man
himself must pay a heavy fine to get back into caste, and his children
are considered as partly illegitimate and must marry with the progeny
of similar unions. Either husband or wife can obtain a divorce by
a simple application to the caste _panchayat_, and a divorced woman
can marry again as a widow. The caste offer sheep and goats to their
deities and worship the animals before killing them. At Dasahra they
also pay reverence to the skinning-knife, and the needle with which
shoes are sewn. The caste burn the bodies of those who die married
and bury the unmarried. Before setting out for a funeral they drink
liquor and again on their return, and a little liquor is sprinkled
over the grave. When a man has been cremated his ashes are taken
and thrown into a river on the third day. The chief mourner, after
being shaved by his brother-in-law, takes the hair with some copper
coins in his hand and, diving into the river, leaves them there as
an offering to the dead man's spirit.

_Dolia_.--(Palanquin-bearer.) A section of Dhimar.

_Dom_.--An important caste in Bengal. See article Kanjar. Used as a
synonym for Ganda in the Uriya country.

_Domra_.--Subcaste of Turi.

_Dongaria_, _Dongarwar_.--(From _dongar_, a hill.) A sept of Bhil,
Dhobi, Mali, Mang and Sonkar. A surname of Maratha Brahmans.

_Dora_.--(Sahib or Lord.) Title of the Mutrasi caste.

_Dosar_.--Subcaste of Bania.

_Dravida_.--(Southern.) See Panch-Dravida.

_Dube_.--(A teacher and a man learned in two Vedas.) A common surname
of Hindustani Brahmans. A subcaste of Banjara.

_Dudh_.--(Milk.) Dudh-Barai, a subcaste of Barai; Dudh-Gowari,
a subcaste of Ahir or Gowari; Dudh-Kawar, a subcaste of Kawar.

_Dudh Bhai_.--(Milk-brothers.) A fraternity of Gonds in Betul, who
are apparently foster-brothers. They do not marry, though they have
different septs.

_Dukar_.--A subcaste of Kolhati. From _dukar_, hog, because they
are accustomed to hunt the wild pig with dogs and spears when these
animals become too numerous and damage the crops of the villagers.

_Dukaria_.--Title of the officer of the Andh caste who constitutes
the caste committee.

_Dulha_.--(Bridegroom.) A section of Chadar.

_Dumar_ or _Dom_.--A low caste of sweepers in Bengal. See
Kanjar. Subcaste of Basor, Ganda, Panka and Turi. Synonym and subcaste
of Mehtar. A section of Kawar.

_Durgbansi_.--A clan of Rajputs in Ragnandgaon.

_Dusre_.--(Second.) A subdivision of Shrivastab, Gaur and Saksena
Kayasths, meaning those of inferior or mixed origin as opposed to
Khare or those of pure origin.

_Dwarka_.--One of the most holy places in India, situated on or
near the sea in Gujarat. It is supposed to have been founded by
Krishna. Site of one of the monasteries (Ashram) of Sankaracharya,
the founder of the non-dualistic or Vedanta philosophy.

_Dwija_.--(Twice-born.) A title applied to the three higher classical
castes, Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya, and now especially to Brahmans.

_Ekbahia_.--(One-armed.) Subcaste of Teli, so called because their
women wear glass bangles only on one arm.

_Ekbaile_.--One who yokes one bullock only to the oil-press. Subcaste
of Teli.

_Elama, Elma_.--Synonym for Velama. A subcaste of Kapewar or Kapu.

_Erenga._--Subcaste of Kharia in Bengal.

_Erna_.--(From Eran, in Saugor district.) A section of Teli.

_Fakir_.--A Muhammadan mendicant. Synonym Sain. See article.

_Farid_.--Sheikh Farid was a well-known Muhammadan saint. A section
of Panwar Rajput.

_Farsi_.--Persian. From the Province of Fars. The term Farsi is
also used by the Hindus to signify foreign or non-Aryan languages
like Gondi.

_Fidawi._--(A disciple.) An order of devotees of the Khojah sect
known to the Crusaders as Assassins. Title of Khojah.

_Gadaba_.--Synonym of Gadba.

_Gadaria_.--A caste. Subcaste of Ahir.

_Gadha_.--(An ass.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds in Betul, so
named because their priest rode on an ass in crossing a river.

_Gadhao_.--(From _gadha_, an ass.) Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Gadhewal, Gadhere, Gadhwe, Gadhilla_.--(One who keeps donkeys. From
_gadha_, an ass.) A subcaste of Dhimar, Katia, Koshti, Kumhar and
Sonkar. A sept of Gond and Pardhan.

_Gadhwana_.--(From Garha, near Jubbulpore.) Subcaste of Nai.

_Gadiwan_.--(A cart-driver.) Subcaste of Dangri.

_Gadri_.--(From _gadar_, a sheep.) A synonym of Gadaria. A subcaste
of Dhangar.

_Gaharwar, Gaharval, Gherwal_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of
Rajputs chiefly found in Bilaspur and Khairagarh. A section of Patwas.

_Gahbainya_ or _Gahboniya_.--(Those who hid in a village when called
by a king to his presence.) A subcaste of Kurmi. A section of Kurmi.

_Gahlot_ or _Sesodia_.--A famous clan of Rajputs. A section of Daraiha
and Joshi.

_Gahoi_.--Subcaste of Bania. See article Bania-Gahoi.

_Gahra_.--Synonym for Ahir or herdsman in the Uriya country.

_Gai-Gowari._--Subcaste of Gowari.

_Gaiki_.--A cowherd. (A subcaste of Gond in Betul.) A section of

_Gaikwar_ or _Gaika_.--(A cowherd.) A clan of Maratha. A section of
Ahir, Bhil, Kunbi and Mahar.

_Gaita_.--Subcaste of Gond.

_Gaiwale_.--(Cow-keeper.) A subcaste of Moghia.

_Gajarha_.--_(Gajar_, a carrot.) A section of Teli in Mandla.

_Gajjam_.--A sept of the Dhurwa clan of Gonds in Betul named after
Gajjami. (Bow and arrows in Gondi.)

_Ganda_.--(A messenger.) A low caste of village watchmen. In the Uriya
country the Gandas are known as Dom. A subcaste of Pardhan. Title
of Kharia.

_Gandhi_.--A scent-seller. (From _gandh_, a Sanskrit word for
scent.) Synonym of Atari. A section of Maheshir Bania.

_Gandli_.--The Telugu caste of oil-pressers, numbering about 3000
persons in the Central Provinces, in the Chanda, Nagpur and Bhandara
Districts. They are immigrants from the Godavari District of Madras and
have been settled in the Central Provinces for some generations. Here
many of them have prospered so that they have abandoned the hereditary
calling and become landowners, traders and moneylenders. Like the
well-to-do Telis they are keenly desirous of bettering their social
position and now repudiate any connection with what may be known as
'the shop,' or the profession of oil-pressing. As this ranks very
low, among the more despised village handicrafts, the progress of
the Gandlis and Telis to the social standing of Banias, to which
they generally aspire, is beset with difficulties; but the Gandlis,
in virtue of having migrated to what is practically a foreign country
so far as they are concerned, have achieved a considerable measure of
success, and may be said to enjoy a better position than any Telis. A
few of them wear the sacred thread, and though they eat flesh, they
have abjured liquor except in Chanda, where they are most numerous
and the proportion of wealthy members is smallest. Here also they
are said to eat pork. Others eat flesh and fowls.

The Gandlis are divided into the Reddi, Chetti and Telkala subcastes,
and the last are generally oil-pressers. It is probable that the
Reddis are the same as the Redu-eddu or Rendu-eddu subcaste of Madras,
who derive their name from the custom of using two bullocks to turn
the oil-press, like the Do-baile Telis of the Central Provinces. But
it has been changed to Reddi, a more respectable name, as being a
synonym for the Kapu cultivating caste. Chetti really means a trader,
and is, Mr. Francis says, [442] "One of those occupational or titular
terms, which are largely employed as caste names. The weavers,
oil-pressers and others use it as a title, and many more tack it on
to their names to denote that trade is their occupation." Marriage
is regulated by exogamous groups, the names of which are said to be
derived from those of villages. Girls are generally married during
childhood. A noticeable point is that the ceremony is celebrated
at the bridegroom's house, to which the bride goes, accompanied by
her party, including the women of her family. The ceremony follows
the Maratha form of throwing fried rice over the bridal couple,
and Brahman priests are employed to officiate. Widow-marriage is
permitted. The dead are both buried and burnt, and during mourning
the Gandlis refrain from eating _khichri_ or mixed rice and pulse, and
do not take their food off plantain leaves, in addition to the other
usual observances. They have the _shantik_ ceremony or the seclusion
of a girl on the first appearance of the signs of adolescence, which
is in vogue among the higher Maratha castes, and is followed by a feast
and the consummation of her marriage. They now speak Marathi fluently,
but still use Telugu in their houses and wear their head-cloths tied
after the Tulugu fashion. [443]

_Gangabalu_.--(Sand of the Ganges.) A family name of Ganda.

_Gangabasia_.--(Living on the banks of the Ganges.) A section of Ahir.

_Gangapari_.--(One coming from the further side of the
Ganges.) Subcaste of Barai, Barhai, Chamar, Dhobi, Gondhali, Kumhar
and Umre Bania.

_Gangasagar_.--(Sea of the Ganges.) A section of Chitari and Kawar.

_Gangavansi_.--(Descended from the Ganges.) A clan of Rajputs. The
chief of Bamra State is a Gangavansi.

_Gangthade_.--Dwellers on the banks of the Godavari and
Wainganga. These rivers are sometimes called Ganga or Ganges, which
is used as a general term for a great river. A subcaste of Maratha.

_Gannore_.--Name of a minor Rajput clan. Subcaste of Balahi.

_Ganth-chor_.--(A bundle-thief.) Title of Bhamta.

_Gaolan_.--A synonym of Ahir or Gaoli, applied to an inferior section
of the caste.

_Gaoli_, _Gauli_.--(A milkman.) Synonym for Ahir. Subcaste of Hatkar.

_Gaontia_.--(A village headman.) Title of the head of the Kol caste
committee. Title of Kol.

_Garde_.--(Dusty.) A surname of Karhara Brahmans in Saugor.

_Garg_ or _Gargya_.--The name of a famous Rishi or saint. An eponymous
section of Brahmans. A section of Agarwala Banias. Gargabansi is a
clan of Rajputs.

_Garhawala_, _Garhewala_, _Garhewar_.--A resident of Garha, an old
town near Jubbulpore which gave its name to the Garha-Mandla dynasty,
and is a centre of weaving. A subcaste of Katia, Koshti and Mahar,
all weaving castes. A subcaste of Binjhal.

_Garkata_.--(Cut-throat.) A section of Koshti.

_Garpagari_.--A body of Jogis or Naths who avert hailstorms and are
considered a separate caste. See article. From _gar_, hail. A subcaste
of Koshta and Kumhar. A section of Ghasia.

_Gate_.--(A bastard.) Subcaste of Naoda.

_Gaur_.--The ancient name of part of Bengal and perhaps applied also
to the tract in the United Provinces round about the modern Gonda
District. A subcaste of Brahman and Kayasth. A clan of Rajputs. See

_Gauria_, _Gauriya_.--A caste. A subcaste of Dhimar, Khond, Kumhar
and Uriya Sansia.

_Gauriputra_.--A son of Gauri, the wife of Mahadeo. Title of Balija.

_Gautam_.--A name of a famous Rishi or saint. A common eponymous
section of Brahmans. A clan of Rajputs. A section of Agharia, Ahir,
Maratha, Panwar Rajput, Rangari and Jangam.

_Gayake_.--Subcaste of Pardhi, meaning a man who stalks deer behind
a bullock.

_Gayawal_.--(From the town of Gaya on the Ganges, a favourite place
for performing the obsequies of the dead.) A subcaste of Brahmans who
act as emissaries for the owners of the shrines at Gaya and wander
about the country inducing villagers to undertake the pilgrimage and
personally conducting their constituents.

_Gazulu_.--(A bangle-seller.) Subcaste of Balija.

_Gedam_.--A sept of Gonds. A sept of Baigas.

_Ghadyachi Tong_.--(The rim of the pitcher.) A section of Kirar.

_Ghanta_.--(Bell.) A section of Kumhar.

_Ghantra_.--Name of a caste of Lohars or blacksmiths in the Uriya

_Gharbari_.--One who while leading a mendicant life is permitted
to marry with the permission of his _guru_. A householder, synonym
Grihastha. The married groups of the Gosain, Bairagi and Manbhao
orders as distinguished from the Nihang or celibate section.

_Ghasi Mali_.--Subcaste of Mali.

_Ghatole_, _Ghatode_.--Those who dwell on the _ghats_ or passes of the
Sainhyadri Hills to the south of the Berar plain. Subcaste of Bahna,
Gondhali and Kunbi.

_Ghatmathe_.--(Residents of the Mahadeo plateau in Berar.) Subcaste
of Maratha.

_Gherwal_.--A clan of Rajputs. Synonym for Gaharwar.

_Ghidoda_.--(Giver of _ghi_.) A section of Telis so named because
their first ancestors presented _ghi_ to the king Bhoramdeo.

_Ghisadi_, _Ghisari_.--A group of wandering Lohars or
blacksmiths. Synonym for Lohar.

_Ghoderao_.--(_Ghoda_, a horse.) Subcaste of Chitrakathi. They have
the duty of looking after the horses and bullock-carts of the castemen
who assemble for marriage or other ceremonies.

_Ghodke_.--Those who tend horses. Subcaste of Mang.

_Ghodmaria_.--(Horse-killer.) A sept of Binjhwar.

_Ghopi_.--(Wild _jamun_ tree.) A sept of Gonds.

_Ghosi_.--A caste. A subcaste of Ahir. A section of Chamar.

_Ghudchoda_.--A subcaste of Pasi, who have become grooms. (From
_ghora_, a horse.)

_Ghughu, Ghughwa_.--(Owl.) A section of Ganda, Kawar, Kewat and
Panka. Pankas of the Ghughu sept are said to have eaten the leavings
of their caste-fellows.

_Ghunnere_.--(Worm-eater.) A section of Teli in Betul and Rathor Teli.

_Ghura_ or _Gura_.--(Dunghill.) A section of Chadar and Sunar.

_Ghuttin_.--A sept of Bhils. They reverence the _gular_, or fig tree.

_Gingra_.--A subcaste of Tiyar.

_Girgira_.--A small caste found in Sonpur State and Sambalpur
district. They are fishermen, and also parch rice. They are perhaps
an offshoot of the Kewat caste.

_Giri_ or _Gir_.--(_Gir_, mountain.) An order of Gosains.

_Girnara_.--A subcaste of Brahmans in Jubbulpore. They are said to
take their name from Girnar in Kathiawar, where they were settled by
Krishna after he rose from the Damodar reservoir in the bed of the
Sonrekha river at Junagarh. They have the monopoly of the office of
priests to pilgrims visiting Girnar. _(Bombay Gazetteer_, ix.)

_Goal_ or _Gowala, Guala_.--(Sanskrit Gopal, a cowherd.) Synonym of
Ahir, also subcaste of Ahir.

_Gaoli_.--(A cowherd.) Synonym for Ahir. Subcaste of Maratha.

_Gobardhua_.--(From _gobar_, cowdung.) Subcaste of Chamar.

_Gohia, Gohi_.--(From _goh_ or _gohi_, a large lizard.) A section of
Jain Bania or Khatik. A sept of Bhatra and Parja.

_Gohil_.--A well-known clan of Rajputs in the United Provinces.

_Goia_.--(From _gohi_, a mango-stone.) A section of Chadar. They
draw a picture of the mango-stone at the Maihar or distribution of
sacrificial cakes.

_Gola._--Synonym of Golar.

_Golak_.--Synonym Govardhan or Gaomukh. An illegitimate group of
Maratha Brahmans.

_Golalare_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Golandaz_.--(An artilleryman.) Synonym of Kadera.

_Golapurab_.--A subcaste of Bania, Darzi and Kalar.

_Golkar_.--Synonym of Golar and Ahir.

_Golia_.--One who dyes cloth with _goli ka rang_, the fugitive aniline
dyes. Subcaste of Chhipa.

_Golla_.--Synonym of Golar.

_Gollam_.--Synonym of Golar.

_Gondadya_.--(Gond.) Subcaste of Otari.

_Gondi_.--(From the Gonds.) A subcaste of Ahir, Binjhwar and Lohar.

_Gondia_.--Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Gondi-Lohar._--A Gond who works as a blacksmith. Subcaste of Lohar.

_Gondvansi_.--(Descendants of Gonds.) A section of Ghasia.

_Gondwaina_.--Subcaste of Baiga.

_Gopal_.--A caste. Synonym of Ahir in Rajputana.

_Goranda_.--Synonym of Goyanda.

_Gorakhnath_.--A sect of Jogis. From Guru Gorakhnath, a great Jogi.

_Gorasia_.--(From _goras_, milk.) A section of Lonare Mali.

_Gorigawar, Gaigowal_.--(A cowherd.) A section of Otari and Panka.

_Gosain, Goswami_.--A caste. A surname of Sanadhya Brahmans in Saugor.

_Gotte_.--A subcaste of Gond. They are also called Made in Chanda.

_Goundia_.--A class of Bairagi. Synonym Madhavachari. A section of

_Gowalvansi_.--Subcaste of Ahir.

_Goyanda, Goranda_.--A name applied to a small class of persons
in Jubbulpore, who are descendants of Thug approvers, formerly
confined there. The name is said to mean, 'One who speaks,' and
to have been applied to those Thugs who escaped capital punishment
by giving information against their confederates. Goranda is said
to be a corruption of Goyanda. The Goyandas are both Hindus and
Muhammadans. The latter commonly call themselves Deccani Musalmans as
a more respectable designation. They are said to be a gipsy class of
Muhammadans resembling the Kanjars. The Hindus are of different castes,
but are also believed to include some Beria gipsies. The Goyandas
are employed in making gloves, socks and strings for pyjamas, having
probably taken to this kind of work because the Thug approvers were
employed in the manufacture of tents. Their women are quarrelsome, and
wrangle over payment when selling their wares. This calling resembles
that of the Kanjar women, who also make articles of net and string, and
sell them in villages. Some of the Goyandas are employed in Government
and railway service, and Mr. Gayer notes that the latter are given
to opium smuggling, and carry opium on their railway engines. [444]

_Grihastha, Gharbari_.--(A householder.) A name given to those
divisions of the religious mendicant orders who marry and have

_Guar_.--(From _guara_ or _gwala_, a milkman.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Gudarh_ or _Gudar_.--(From _gudra_, a rag.) A sect of the Bairagi,
Gosain and Jogi orders of mendicants.

_Gudha_ or _Gurha_.--(From _gudh_, a pigsty.) Subcaste of Basor.

_Gugaria_.--One who trades in _gugar_, a kind of gum. Subcaste
of Banjara.

_Gujar_.--A caste. A subcaste of Ahir, Darzi, Koshti and Pasi. A clan
of Maratha. A section of Khatik.

_Gujarati_.--(From Gujarat.) A territorial subcaste of Bahelia, Bania,
Barhai, Chhipa, Darzi, Gopal, Nai, Sunar and Teli.

_Gurasthulu_.--A synonym for the Balija caste.

_Gurbhelia_.--(A ball of molasses.) A section of Gohira Ahirs in

_Guria_.--(A preparer of _gur_ or unrefined sugar.) Synonym of Halwai
in the Uriya country.

_Gurujwale_.--A class of Fakirs or Muhammadan beggars.

_Guru-Mata._--Title of the great council of the Sikhs and their
religious meal.

_Guru_.--(A preacher or teacher or spiritual guide.) Brahmans and
members of the religious orders, Bairagis and Gosains, are the Gurus
of ordinary Hindus. Most Hindu men and also women of the higher and
middle castes have a Guru, whose functions are, however, generally
confined to whispering a sacred verse into the ear of the disciple
on initiation, and paying him a visit about once a year; it is not
clear what happens on these occasions, but the Guru is entertained
by this disciple, and a little moral exhortation may be given.

_Gurusthulu_.--Synonym of Balija.

_Guthau_.--Title of Gadba.

_Gwalbansi, Gokulbansi, Goalbansi_.--(Descended from a cowherd.) A
subcaste of Ahir or Gaoli, A subcaste of Khairwar.

_Gwalhare_.--(Cowherd.) A subcaste of Lodhi.

_Habshi_.--Synonym of Siddi. An Abyssinian.

_Hadi_.--(Sweeper or scavenger.) One of the 72 1/2 gotras of Meheshri
Bania. A synonym for Mangan.

_Hadia_.--(From _hadi_, bone.) A section of Raghuvansi.

_Haihaya, Haihaivansi_.--(Race of the horse.) A clan of Rajputs of
the lunar race.

_Hajjam_.--Muhammadan name for Nai or barber.

_Hakkya_.--Title of Hatkar.

_Halai_.--Subcaste of Cutchi.

_Halbi_.--Synonym of Halba. Subcaste of Koshti.

_Haldia, Hardiya, Hardiha, Halde_.--(A grower of _haldi_, or
turmeric.) Subcaste of Kachhi, Lodhi, Mali, Rajjhar and Teli. A
section of Rajjhar.

_Halia_.--(Ploughman.) A subcaste of Teli in Nandgaon State.

_Halua_.--A subcaste of Uriya Brahmans, so called because they use
the plough (_hal_).

_Hans, Hansi, Hansa_,--(The swan.) A section of Agharia, Ahir, Mali
and Savar.

_Hansele_.--(_Hansna_, to laugh.) A section of Ahir.

_Hanuman, Hanumanta_.--(The monkey-god Hanuman.) A section of Bhatra,
Mahar and Mowar.

_Hara_.--A clan of Rajputs, a branch of the Chauhans.

_Harbola_.--Derived from Hari, a name of Vishnu or Krishna, and _bolna_
to speak. Synonym of Basdewa and also subcaste of Basdewa.

_Hardas_.--A religious mendicant who travels about and tells stories
about heroes and gods accompanied with music. Synonym of Chitrakathi.

_Hari_.--(A bone-gatherer.) Synonym of Mehtar and subcaste of Mehtar.

_Haria_.--(_Hal_, plough.) A subcaste of Mahar.

_Harial_.--(Green pigeon.) A section of Ahir.

_Harshe_.--(Glad.) Surname of Karhara Brahmans in Saugor.

_Hatgar_.--Synonym of Hatkar.

_Hatghar_.--Subcaste of Koshti.

_Hathgarhia_.--Subcaste of Kumhar, meaning one who moulds vessels
with his hands only, without using the wheel as an implement.

_Hathia, Hasti_.--(From _hathi_, elephant.) A section of Ahir, Chasa,
Mehra and Mowar.

_Hatkar, Hatgar_.--A caste. A subcaste of Koshta and Maratha.

_Hatwa_.--A small caste of pedlars and hawkers in the Uriya country,
who perambulate the village bazars or _hats_, from which word
their name is derived. They sell tobacco, turmeric, salt, and other
commodities. The caste are in reality a branch of the Kewats, and
are also called Semli Kewat, because their ancestors travelled on the
Mahanadi and other rivers in canoes made from the bark of the _semal_
tree (_Bombax Malabaricum_). They were thus Kewats or boatmen who
adopted the practice of carrying small articles up and down the river
for sale in their canoes, and then beginning to travel on land as well
as on water, became regular pedlars, and were differentiated into a
separate caste. The caste originated in Orissa where river travelling
has until lately been much in vogue, and in Sambalpur they are also
known as Uriyas, because of their recent immigration into this part of
the country. The Hatwas consider themselves to be descended from the
Nag or cobra, and say that they all belong to the Nag _gotra_. They
will not kill a cobra, and will save it from death at the hands
of others if they have the opportunity, and they sometimes pay the
snake-charmers to set free captive snakes. The oath on the snake is
their most solemn form of affirmation. For the purposes of marriage
they have a number of exogamous sections or _vargas_, the names
of which in some cases indicate a military calling, as Dalai, from
Dalpati, commander of an army, and Senapati, commander-in-chief; while
others are occupational, as Maharana (painter), Dwari (gatekeeper)
and Mangual (steersman of a boat). The latter names show, as might
be expected, that the caste is partly of functional origin, while as
regards the military names, the Hatwas say that they formerly fought
against the Bhonslas, under one of the Uriya chiefs. They say that
they have the perpetual privilege of contributing sixteen poles,
called Naikas, for the car of Jagannath, and that in lieu of this
they hold seven villages in Orissa revenue-free. Those of them who use
pack-bullocks for carrying their wares worship Banjari Devi, a deity
who is held to reside in the sacks used for loading the bullocks;
to her they offer sweetmeats and grain boiled with sugar.

_Havelia_.--(Resident of a Haveli or fertile wheat tract.) Subcaste
of Ghosi and Kurmi.

_Hawaidar_.--(A maker of fireworks.) Synonym of Kadera.

_Hela_.--(From _hela_, a cry.) Subcaste of Mehtar.

_Hichami_.--(A comb.) A sept of Maria Gonds.

_Hijra_.--(A eunuch.) See article. A subcaste of Gondhali.

_Hindustani_.--Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Hira, Hirani_.--(Diamond.) A section of Bhulia and of Uriya Sansia.

_Hirangotri_.--(_Hiran_, deer.) A section of Agarwal Bania.

_Ho_.--Synonym of Kol.

_Holer_.--(A hide-curer.) Subcaste of Mang.

_Holia, Holer_.--A caste. A subcaste of Golar. Holer, perhaps from
Holia, a subcaste of Mang.

_Hudila_.--(Wolf.) A totemistic sept of Kawar.

_Hulhulia Sahu_.--A section of Chasa so named, because as a mark of
respect they make the noise 'Hulhuli,' when a king passes through
the village.

_Huna, Hoon_ or _Hun_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of
Rajputs. Probably descendants of the Hun invaders of the fifth
century. See articles Rajput and Panwar Rajput.

_Husaini_.--Subcaste of Brahman.

_Ikbainha_.--A subcaste of Kurmi, so called because their women put
bangles on one arm only.

_Iksha Kul_ or _Ikshawap Kul_.--A section of Komti. They abstain from
using the sugarcane and the _sendia_ flower.

_Ilakeband_.--(From _ilaqa_ or _alaqa_, meaning connection, and
_bandhna_, to bind.) Synonym of Patwa.

_Inga_.--Subcaste of Gowari.

_Irpachi_.--(Mahua flowers.) A sept of Dhurwa Gonds in Betul.

_Ivna Inde_.--(_Inde_, chicken.) A sept of Dhurwa Gonds in Betul. They
offer chickens to their gods.

_Ivna Jagleya_.--(_Jagna_, to be awake.) A sept of the Dhurwa clan of
Gonds in Betul. They are so named because they kept awake to worship
their gods at night.

_Jadam, Jaduvansi, Yadava_.--An important clan of Rajputs now become
a caste. Name derived from Yadu or Yadava. A subcaste of Gujar. A
subcaste and section of Ahir; a section of Rathor Rajputs in Betul.

_Jadia, Jaria_.--(An enameller.) A subcaste of Sunar. They
practise hypergamy by taking wives from the Pitariye and Sudihe
subdivisions, and giving daughters to the Sri Nagariye and Banjar
Mahuwe subdivisions. Also an occupational term meaning one who sets
precious stones in rings.

_Jadubansi, Yadubansi_.--See Jadum. A subcaste of Ahir.

_Jaga_.--(Awakener.) Synonym of Basdewa.

_Jagat_.--(An awakener or sorcerer.) A sept of Gond in many
localities. A section of Nat and Kasar.

_Jaharia_.--(From _jahar_, an essence.) Subcaste of Satnami.

_Jain_.--Name of a religion. See article. A subcaste of Kalar, Kumbar
and Simpi (Darzi).

_Jaina_.--(One who follows the Jain faith.) Subcaste of Komti, Gurao.

_Jain Koshti_.--Subcaste of Koshti.

_Jaipuria_.--(A resident of Jaipur.) Subcaste of Mali.

_Jaiswar_.--(From the old town of Jais in Rai Bareli District.) A
subcaste of Chamars, who usually call themselves Jaiswara in preference
to their caste name. A subcaste of Barai, Kunbi and Kalar.

_Jalalia_.--A class of Fakirs or Muhammadan beggars.

_Jaitwa_ or _Kamari_.--A clan of Rajputs; one of the thirty-six royal
races mentioned by Colonel Tod.

_Jallad_.--(An executioner.) Subcaste of Kanjar.

_Jamadagni_.--An eponymous section of Karhare Brahman and Agharia.

_Jambu_.--(From the _jaman_ tree.) A subcaste of Brahman and Marar. A
sept of Korku.

_Jambu Dalia_.--(Born in a shed made of _jaman_ branches.) A section
of Ghasia.

_Jamnabasi_.--(Residing on the banks of the Jumna.) A subcaste
of Dhobi.

_Jangam_.--A caste of Saiva mendicants, who call themselves Vir Shaiva,
and are priests of the Lingayat sect; a subcaste of Jogi.

_Jangra_.--(Perhaps the same as Jharia or jungly.) A subcaste of
Lodhi. A section of Dhimar, Mali and Sunar.

_Jani_.--A wise man; an exorciser.

_Janta_.--(Flour grinding-mill.) A section of Panka, a sept of Kawar.

_Janughanta_.--Mendicants who tie bells to their thighs; a kind
of Jogis.

_Jaria_.--A totemistic section of Basor, who worship the _ber_ or
wild plum tree.

_Jasondhi, Dasaundhi_.--A caste. A subcaste of Bhat.

_Jasondhi, Karohla_.--A small caste of the Narsinghpur District,
who were employed at the Gond and Maratha courts to sing the _jas_
or hymns in praise of the chiefs. They may be considered as a branch
of the Bhat caste, and some of them are said to be addicted to petty
theft. Some Jasondhis, who are also known as Karohla, now wander about
as religious mendicants, singing the praises of Devi. They carry an
image of the goddess suspended by a chain round the neck and ask
for gifts of _tilli_ (sesamum) or other vegetable oil, which they
pour over their heads and over the image. Their clothes and bodies
are consequently always saturated with this oil. They also have a
little cup of vermilion which they smear on the goddess and on their
own bodies after receiving an offering. They call on Devi, saying,
'_Maiji, Maiji Mata meri, kahe ko janam diya_' or 'Mother, mother,
why did you bring me into the world?' Women who have no children
sometimes vow to dedicate their first-born son as a Karohla, and it
is said that such children were bound to sacrifice themselves to the
goddess on attaining manhood in one of three ways. Either they went
to Benares and were cut in two by a sword, or else to Badrinarayan,
a shrine on the summit of the Himalayas, where they were frozen to
death, or to Dhaolagiri, where they threw themselves down from a rock,
and one might occasionally escape death. Their melancholy refrain may
thus be explained by the fate in store for them. The headquaters of
the order is the shrine of the Bindhyachal Devi in the Vindhyan Hills.

_Jat_.--A caste. One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs. A
subcaste of Barhai, Bishnoi and Kumhar.

_Jatadhari_.--(With matted hair.) A sect of celibate Manbhaos.

_Jati_.--Name of Jain mendicant ascetics.

_Jaunpuri_.--(From Jaunpur.) A subcaste of Halwai and Lohar.

_Jemadar_.--Honorific title of Khangar and Mehtar.

_Jemadarin_.--Title of the female leaders of the Yerukala communities
of thieves.

_Jera_.--(A forked stick for collecting thorny wood.) A section
of Dangi.

_Jhadi, Jhade, Jharia, Jharkua_. (Jungly.)--A name often applied
to the oldest residents of a caste in any locality of the Central
Provinces. In Berar it is used to designate the Wainganga Valley
and adjacent hill ranges. A subcaste of Ahir, Barai, Barhai, Chamar,
Dhangar, Dhanwar, Dhobi, Gadaria, Gurao, Kapewar, Kasar, Katia, Kewat,
Khatik, Khond, Kirar, Kumhar, Kunbi, Kurmi, Mahar, Mali, Nai, Sunar,
Teli and Turi.

_Jhadukar_.--(From _jhadu_, a broom.) A synonym of Mehtar.

_Jhal_ or _Jhala_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs. A
subcaste of Raj-Gond.

_Jhankar_.--Name of a village priest in the Uriya country. The Jhankar
is usually a Binjhwar or member of another primitive tribe.

_Jhara, Jhira, Jhora_.--Synonym of Sonjhara.

_Jharha_.--subcaste of Lodhi. _Jharia_.--(Jungly.) See
Jhadi. _Jharola_.--(Perhaps from the town of Jhalor in Marwar.) A
subcaste of Brahmans in Jubbulpore.

_Jhinga_.--(A prawn-catcher.) Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Jijhotia_ or _Jujhotia_.--(From Jajhoti, the old name of the country
of Lalitpur and Saugor.) A subcaste of Brahmans of the Kanaujia
division. A subcaste of Ahir; a section of Joshi and Kumhar.

_Jildgar_.--(A bookbinder.) A class of _Mochi._

_Jingar._--(A saddlemaker.) A class of Mochi. A subcaste of Chamar
and of Simpi (Darzi).

_Jirayat_.--Synonym for Mochis in Berar who have taken up the finer
kinds of ironwork, such as mending guns, etc.

_Jire-Mali._--Formerly was the only subcaste of Mali who would grow
cumin or _jira_.

_Jiria_.--(From _jira_, or cumin.) Subcaste of Kachhi.

_Jogi, Jugi_. A caste. A subcaste of Dewar. A section of Chamar,
Chhipa and Lohar.

_Joharia_.--(From _johar_, a form of salutation.) Subcaste of Dahaits
in Bilaspur.

_Johri_.--A subcaste of Rajput.

_Jokhara_.--A small class of Muhammadans who breed leeches and apply
them to patients, the name being derived from _jonk_, a leech. They
were not separately classified at the census, but a few families
of them are found in Burhanpur, and they marry among themselves,
because no other Muhammadans will marry with them. In other parts
of India leeches are kept and applied by sweepers and sometimes
by their women. [445] People suffering from boils, toothache,
swellings of the face, piles and other diseases have leeches applied
to them. For toothache the leeches are placed inside the mouth on
the gum for two days in succession. There are two kinds of leeches
known as Bhainsa-jonk, the large or buffalo-leech, and Rai-jonk,
the small leech. They are found in the mud of stagnant tanks and in
broken-down wells, and are kept in earthen vessels in a mixture of
black soil and water; and in this condition they will go without food
for months and also breed. Some patients object to having their blood
taken out of the house, and in such cases powdered turmeric is given
to the leeches to make them disgorge, and the blood of the patient
is buried inside the house. The same means is adopted to prevent the
leeches from dying of repletion. In Gujarat the Jokharas are a branch
of the Hajjam or Muhammadan barber caste, [446] and this recalls the
fact that the barber chirurgeon or surgeon in mediaeval England was
also known as the leech. It would be natural to suppose that he was
named after the insect which he applied, but Murray's Dictionary holds
that the two words were derived from separate early English roots,
and were subsequently identified by popular etymology.

_Jondhara_.--(Indian millet.) A totemistic sept of Korku and Halba.

_Joshi_.--(An astrologer.) A caste. A surname of Karhara Brahmans.

_Juthia_.--(One who eats the leavings of others.) Subcaste of Basor.

_Jyotishi_.--A synonym for Joshi; an astrologer.

_Kabiraya_.--(Followers of Kabir.) A subcaste of Kori. A section
of Koshti.

_Kabirpanthi_.--A member of the Kabirpanthi sect. A subcaste of Panka
and Agharia. A class of Bairagis or religious mendicants.

_Kabra_.--(Spotted.) One of the 72 1/2 sections of Maheshri Bania.

_Kabutari_.--(Pigeon.) A synonym for Kolhati. A name given to female
dancers of the Nat caste.

_Kabutkunia_.--(Those who find place at the corner of the door.) A
subcaste of Sudh in Sambalpur, being the illegitimate issues of the
Baro Sudh subcaste.

_Kachara_.--Synonym of Kachera.

_Kachchhi_.--(From Cutch in Gujarat.) A subdivision of Balmiki Kayasths
and Mathur Kayasths.

_Kachhap_.--(Tortoise.) A totemistic sept of Agharia, Sudh, Bhulia,
Chasa, Kamar and Khandait.

_Kachhotia_.--Subcaste of Jadam.

_Kachhutva_.--(The tortoise.) A totemistic sept of several groups of
Gonds, also of Darzi, Halba, Kol, Rawat, Munda, Jat, Kachhi and Lohar.

_Kachhwaha_.--(The tortoise.) One of the thirty-six royal races of
Rajputs, the princes of Jaipur or Amber being of this clan. They
derive the name from Cutch, or from Kush, an eponymous ancestor. A
section of Nandbansi Ahir, Gadaria, Kachhi and Nat. The Kachhwaha
section of Gadarias worship the tortoise.

_Kada-kalle-bhallavi._--One who uses donkeys for pack-carriage
(_bhallavi_), but stole a horse (_kalle-kada_). A sept of the Dhurwa
clan of Satdeve Gonds in Betul.

_Kagar_.--Synonym of Dhimar.

_Kagwaria_.--From _kagwar_, an offering made to the ancestors in the
month of Kunwar. Subcaste of Kol.

_Kaibartta_.--Synonym of Kewat.

_Kaikadi_.--Synonym of Kaikari.

_Kainthwans_.--A subcaste of Pasi in Saugor and Betul, said to have
originated in a cross between a Badhak or Baori, and a Kayasth woman.

_Kaith_.--Synonym for Kayasth.

_Kaitha, Kaithia_.--Subcaste of Bharbhunja and Darzi.

_Kakra_.--One who arranges for the lighting at the marriage and other
ceremonies. Subcaste of Chitrakathi.

_Kala_.--(Black.) A subcaste of Golkar (Ahir.

_Kalachuri_.--Synonym for the Haihaya clan of Rajputs.

_Kalanga_.--A caste. A subcaste of Gond.

_Kalanki_.--A subdivision of Maharashtra Brahmans found in Nagpur. They
are considered degraded, as their name indicates. They are said to
have cut up a cow made of flour to please a Muhammadan governor,
and to follow some other Muhammadan practices.

_Kalapithia_,--(Having black backs.) A subcaste of Savars in Puri of
Orissa. They have the right of dragging the car of Jagannath.

_Kalawant_.--Title of Mirasi.

_Kalbelia_.--(Catcher of snakes.) A subcaste of Nat.

_Kalibelia_.--(_Bel_, an ox.) A section of Chadar. They draw a picture
of an ox at their weddings.

_Kalihari_.--(Bridle.) A section of Teli in Nandgaon, so named because
they presented a bridle to their king.

_Kalkhor_.--(Castor-oil plant.) A totemistic sept of the Audhalia

_Kalutia, Kalota_.--A subtribe of Gonds in Chanda and Betul.

_Kalwar_.--Synonym of Kalar.

_Kamad._ [447]--A small caste of jugglers, who come from Rajputana
and travel about in the Hoshangabad and Nimar Districts. They were
not returned at the census, and appear to belong to Rajputana. Their
special entertainment consists in playing with cymbals, and women are
the chief performers. The woman has eight or nine cymbals secured
to her legs before and behind, and she strikes these rapidly in
turn with another held in her hand, twisting her body skilfully so
as to reach all of them, and keeping time with the music played on
guitar-like instruments by the men who accompany her. If the woman
is especially skilful, she will also hold a naked sword in her mouth,
so as to increase the difficulty of the performance.

The Kamads dress after the Rajputana fashion, and wear yellow
ochre-coloured clothes. Their exogamous sections have Rajput names,
as Chauhan, Panwar, Gudesar, Jogpal and so on, and like the Rajputs
they send a cocoanut-core to signify a proposal for marriage. But
the fact that they have a special aversion to Dhobis and will not
touch them makes it possible that they originated from the Dom caste,
who share this prejudice. [448] Reason has been found to suppose that
the Kanjars, Kolhatis and other migrant groups of entertainers are
sprung from the Doms, and the Kamads may be connected with these. No
caste, not even the sweepers, will accept food from the Kamads. They
employ a Brahman, however, to officiate at their marriage and death
ceremonies. Like the Gosains the Kamads bury their dead in a sitting
posture, a niche being hollowed out at the side of the grave in which
the corpse is placed. Crushed bread (_malida_) and a gourd full of
water are laid beside the corpse. The caste worship the footprints of
Ramdeo, a saint of Marwar, and pay special reverence to the goddess
Hinglaj, who is a deity of several castes in Rajputana.

_Kamalbansi_.--(Stock of the lotus.) Subcaste of Kawar.

_Kamal Kul_.--(Lotus.) A section of Komti. They do not use lotus
roots nor yams.

_Kamari, Kailwa_.--One of the thirty-six royal races of Rajputs.

_Kamaria_.--(From _kambal_, blanket.) A subcaste of Ahir. A section
of Dhimar and Sonkar.

_Kamathi, Kamati_.--A term applied in the Maratha Districts to
immigrants from Madras. It is doubtful whether the Kamathis have
become a caste, but about 150 persons returned this name as their
caste in the Central Provinces and Berar in 1911, and there are
about 7000 in India, none, however, being recorded from the Madras
Presidency. It is stated that the word Kamathi means 'fool' in Tamil,
and that in Bombay all Telugus are called Kamathis, to whatever caste
they may belong. Similarly, Maratha immigrants into Madras are known
by the generic name of Arya, [449] and those coming from Hindustan
into the Nerbudda valley as Pardeshi, while in the same locality the
Brahmans and Rajputs of Central India are designated by the Marathas as
Rangra. This term has the signification of rustic or boorish, and is
therefore a fairly close parallel to Kamathi, if the latter word has
the meaning given above. In the Thana District of Bombay [450] people
of many classes are included under the name of Kamathi. Though they do
not marry or even eat together, the different classes of Kamathis have
a strong feeling of fellowship, and generally live in the same quarter
of the town. In the Central Provinces the Kamathis are usually masons
and house-builders or labourers. They speak Telugu in their houses
and Marathi to outsiders. In Sholapur [451] the Kamathis dress like
Kunbis. They are bound together by a strong caste feeling, and appear
to have become a regular caste. Their priests are Telugu Brahmans,
and their ceremonies resemble those of Kunbis. On the third day after
a child is born the midwife lifts it up for the first time, and it is
given a few light blows on the back. For three days the child sucks
one end of a rag the other end of which rests in a saucer of honey,
and the mother is fed on rice and clarified butter. On the fourth day
the mother begins to suckle the child. Until the mother is pregnant
a second time, no _choti_ or scalp-lock is allowed to grow on the
child's head. When she becomes pregnant, she is taken with the child
before the village god, and a tuft of hair is thereafter left to grow
on the crown of its head.

_Kamma._--A large cultivating caste of the Madras Presidency, of
which a few representatives were returned from the Chanda District in
1911. They are derived from the same Dravidian stock as the other great
cultivating castes of Madras, and, originally soldiers by profession,
have now settled down to agriculture. No description of the caste
need be given here, but the following interesting particulars may
be recorded. The word Kamma means an ear ornament, and according
to tradition a valuable jewel of this kind belonging to a Raja of
Warangal fell into the hands of his enemies. One section of the great
Kapu caste, boldly attacking the foe and recovering the jewel, were
hence called Kamma, while another section, which ran away, received
the derogatory title of Velama (_veli_, away). Another story says that
the Kammas and Velamas were originally one caste, and had adopted the
Muhammadan system of _gosha_ or _purda_. But finding that they were
thus handicapped in competition with the other cultivating castes, it
was proposed that the new custom should be abandoned. Those who agreed
to this signed a bond, which was written on a palm-leaf (_kamma_),
and hence received their new name. In the Central Provinces the Kammas
are divided into three subcastes, the Illuvellani or those who do not
go out of the house, the Tadakchatu or those who live within _tadaks_
or mat screens, and the Polumtir or those who go into the fields. These
names are derived from the degrees in which the different subdivisions
seclude their women, the Illuvellani observing strict _purda_ and the
Polumtir none whatever, while the Tadakchatu follow a middle course. On
this account some social difference exists between the three subcastes,
and when the Illuvellani dine with either of the other two they will
not eat from the plates of their hosts, but take their food separately
on a leaf. And the Tadakchatu practise a similar distinction with the
Polumtir, but the two latter divisions do not decline to eat from
plates or vessels belonging to an Illuvellani. The Kammas forbid a
man to marry in the _gotra_ or family group to which he belongs,
but a wife from the same _gotra_ as his mother's is considered a
most desirable match, and if his maternal uncle has a daughter he
should always take her in marriage. A man is even permitted to marry
his own sister's daughter, but he may not wed his mother's sister's
daughter, who is regarded as his own sister. Among the Kammas of the
Tamil country Mr. (Sir H.) Stuart [452] states that a bride is often
much older than her husband, and a case is cited in which a wife of
twenty-two years of age used to carry her boy-husband on her hip as
a mother carries her child. One other curious custom recorded of the
caste may be noticed. A woman dying within the lifetime of her husband
is worshipped by her daughters, granddaughters or daughters-in-law,
and in their absence by her husband's second wife if he has one. The
ceremony is performed on some festival such as Dasahra or Til-Sankrant,
when a Brahman lady, who must not be a widow, is invited and considered
to represent the deceased ancestor. She is anointed and washed with
turmeric and saffron, and decorated with sandal-paste and flowers;
a new cloth and breast-cloth are then presented to her which she
puts on; sweets, fruit and betel-leaf are offered to her, and the
women of the family bow down before her and receive her benediction,
believing that it comes from their dead relative.

_Kammala._--A small Telugu caste in the Chanda District. The name
Kammala is really a generic term applied to the five artisan castes
of Kamsala or goldsmith, Kanchara or brazier, Kammara or blacksmith,
Vadra or carpenter, and Silpi or stone-mason. These are in reality
distinct castes, but they are all known as Kammalas. The Kammalas
assert that they are descended from Visva Karma, the architect of the
gods, and in the Telugu country they claim equality with Brahmans,
calling themselves Visva Brahmans. But inscriptions show that as late
as the year A.D. 1033 they were considered a very inferior caste and
confined to the village site. [453] Mr. (Sir H.) Stuart writes in the
_Madras Census Report_ that it is not difficult to account for the
low position formerly held by the Kammalas, for it must be remembered
that in early times the military castes in India as elsewhere looked
down upon all engaged in labour, whether skilled or otherwise. With
the decline of military power, however, it was natural that a useful
caste like the Kammalas should gradually improve its position, and the
reaction from this long oppression has led them to make the exaggerated
claims described above, which are ridiculed by every other caste, high
or low. The five main subdivisions of the caste do not intermarry. They
have priests of their own and do not allow even Brahmans to officiate
for them, but they invite Brahmans to their ceremonies. Girls must be
married before puberty. The binding ceremony of the marriage consists
in the tying of a circular piece of gold on a thread of black beads
round the bride's neck by the bridegroom. Widow-marriage is prohibited.

_Kammari._--Telugu Lohars or blacksmiths.

_Kamsala._--(A goldsmith.) Subcaste of Kammala.

_Kanalsia._--(_Kanelu_, a tile.) A section of Ahir in Nimar who do
not live in tiled huts.

_Kanare._--(A resident of Canara.) A subcaste of Dhangar.

_Kanaujia, Kankubja._--A very common subcaste name, indicating persons
whose ancestors are supposed to have come from the town of Kanauj in
northern India, into the Central Provinces. A subcaste of Ahir, Bahna,
Bharbhunja, Bhat, Brahman, Dahait, Darzi, Dhobi, Halwai, Lohar, Mali,
Nai, Patwa, Sunar and Teli.

_Kanbajia_ or _Ahirwar._--Same as Kanaujia. Subcaste of Chamar.

_Kanchara._--(A brassworker.) Subcaste of Kammala.

_Kand._--(Roots or tubers of wild plants.) A section of Raghuvansi
Rajputs in Hoshangabad.

_Kanda Potel_.--(One who grows roots.) A section of Mali.

_Kande_.--Subcaste of Bedar.

_Kandera_.--Synonym for Kadera. Subcaste of Bahna.

_Kandh_.--Synonym of Khond. A subcaste of Taonla in Sambalpur.

_Kandhana_.--Subcaste of Khond.

_Kandhia_.--(A big-beaked vulture.) A sept of Dhanwar.

_Kandia_.--(_Kandi_, a shell, also a snake.) A section of Teli
in Betul.

_Kandol_.--A subcaste of Brahmans, who take their name from the
village Kandol, in Kathiawar.

_Kandra_.--A small caste of bamboo-workers in the Uriya country,
akin to the Basors elsewhere. Members of the caste are found in small
numbers in the Raipur and Balaghat Districts. The word Kandra may
be derived from _kand_, an arrow, just as Dhanuk, often a synonym
for Basor, has the meaning of an archer. It is not improbable that
among the first articles made of bamboo were the bow and arrow of the
forest tribes, and that the bow-maker was the parent of the modern
Basor or basket-maker, bows being a requisite of an earlier stage of
civilisation than baskets. In Bhandara the Kandras are an offshoot of
Gonds. Their women do not wear their cloths over the head, and knot
their hair behind without plaiting it. They talk a Gondi dialect and
are considered an impure caste.

_Kandu_.--(A grain-parcher.) A synonym and subcaste of Bharbhunja. A
subcaste of Halwai.

_Kandua_.--(From _kand_, onion, as they eat onions.) A subcaste
of Bharbhunja.

_Kanera_.--(From the _kaner_ tree.) A totemistic section of Ganda
and Khangar.

_Kangali_.--(Poor.) A common sept of Gonds.

_Kanhejin_.--Subcaste of Banjara.

_Kanhpuria_.--(From Cawnpore, which was founded by their eponymous
hero Kanh.) A clan of Rajputs.

_Kanjar_.--A caste of gipsies. A subcaste of Banjara.

_Kankubja_.--See Kanaujia.

_Kannow_.--A sectarian division of Brahmans.

_Kanphata_.--(One who has his ears bored or pierced.) A class of
Jogi mendicants.

_Kansari_.--Synonym of Kasar.

_Kanwar_.--Synonym of Kawar.

_Kanwarbansi_.--A subtribe of Khairwar.

_Kaonra_ or _Kora_.--A caste. A subcaste of Ahir.

_Kaore_.--A sept of Gonds. A surname of Maratha Brahmans.

_Kapalia_.--(Covered with skulls.) A section of Telis in Betul.

_Kaparia_.--(From _kapra_ cloth, owing to their wearing several
dresses, which they change rapidly like the Bahrupia.) Synonym
of Basdewa.

_Kapasia_.--(From _kapas_, cotton.) A section of Mahar.

_Kapdi_.--Synonym of Basdewa.

_Kapur_.--(Camphor.) A section of Khatri.

_Kapuria_.--A subdivision of Arhaighar Saraswat Brahmans in
Hoshangabad, probably deriving their title from being the priests of
the Kapur section of Khatris.

_Karai Nor_.--A section of Basor. They perform the Meher ceremony of
eating the marriage cakes near a well and not in the house.

_Karait_.--(A poisonous snake.) A section of Ahir, Halba and Panka.

_Karan_ (Mahanti).--A caste. A subcaste of Kayasth. An eponymous
section of Binjhwar and Tanti.

_Karaola_.--(One who pours sesamum oil on his clothes and
begs.) Synonym for Jasondhi and Bhat.

_Karbal_.--Subcaste of Khangar.

_Karchuli_.--A clan of Rajputs, formerly a ruling race in the
Jubbulpore country. See Rajput-Haihaya. A section of Joshi and Mochi.

_Kare, Karia_.--(Black.) A subcaste of Marar. A section of Binjhwar,
Ahir, Chhipa and Lodhi.

_Karela_.--(Bitter gourd.) A section of Sonkar.

_Karhada_.--A subcaste of Maharashtra Brahmans deriving their name
from Karhad, near the junction of the Krishna and Koyana rivers,
about fifteen miles from Satara.

_Karhaiya_.--(Frying-pan.) A section of Raghuvansi.

_Karigar_.--(A workman.) An honorific title of Barhai and Lohar. A
subcaste and synonym of Beldar.

_Karijat_.--Subcaste of Pardhi. The members of this subcaste only
kill birds of a black colour.

_Karkarkadhe_.--(Stone-diggers.) Subcaste of Mang.

_Karnam_.--Synonym of Karan, a palm-leaf writer.

_Karnata, Karnataka_.--One of the five orders of Panch Dravida or
southern Brahmans, inhabiting the Canarese country.

_Karnati_.--(From the Carnatic.) Synonym for a class of Nats or

_Karohla_.--A religious mendicant who wanders about singing praises
of Devi. See Jasondhi.

_Karpachor_.--(Stealer of straw.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds
in Betul.

_Karsayal_.--(A deer.) A sept of the Kawar tribe. Also a sept of Ahir,
Bhaina, Dhobi in Chhattisgarh, Kewat, Lohar and Turi.

_Karsi_.--(From _kalas_, a pitcher.) A totemistic sept of Kawar. They
do not drink water from a red jar on the Akti festival.

_Karwa_.--Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Karwar_.--(An oar.) A section of Dangi in Damoh. A section of Kawar.

_Kasai_.--A caste of butchers. Name applied to Banjaras.

_Kasar_.--A caste. A subdivision of Audhia Sunar. A section of Kewat.

_Kasarwani_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Kasaundhan_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Kasda_.--(One who hides himself in the bed of the river.) A sept of
Korku; a man of this sept has the privilege of directing the ceremony
for the readmission of an outcaste.

_Kasdhonia_.--A subcaste of Dhimar. They wash the sand in the sacred
rivers for coins thrown there by pilgrims, and dive into water to
find lost ornaments or gold.

_Kasera_.--Synonym of Kasar.

_Kashi_.--(Benares.) A section of Agharia, Ahir, Dhuri, Kewat, Kurmi
and Mali.

_Kashyap_.--Name of a famous Rishi or saint. The name may perhaps
be really derived from _kachhap_, a tortoise. One of the common
eponymous sections of Brahmans. Also a section of Barai, Bari, Beldar,
Bharbhunja, Bhulia, Binjhwar, Chandnahu Kurmi, Gond, Jangam, Joshi,
Kalar, Kasar, Kasarwani Bania, Khangar, Nai, Rajput, Sunar. Some
castes say that they are all of the Kashyap _gotra_ or section, the
tortoise being considered a common ancestor of mankind, because it
supports the world.

_Kasia_.--(Kansa, or bell-metal.) A section of Chamar. They draw a
picture of a bell-metal dish at their weddings.

_Kasondhi_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Kassab, Kassia_.--(A butcher.) Synonym of Kasai.

_Kast_.--A small caste found in the Maratha Districts and Bombay,
who appear to be a separate or inferior group of the Kayasths. In
Chanda they work as patwaris and clerks to moneylenders, while some
are merchants and landholders. Like the Kayasths, they wash their pens
and inkstands on the Dasahra festival and worship them. Their principal
deity is the god Venkatesh, a Maratha incarnation of Vishnu. In Bombay
the Kasts claim to be Yajur-Vedi Brahmans, dress like them and keep
the regular Brahman ceremonies. [454] But they are considered to be
half Marathas and half Brahmans, and strict Deshasth and Kokanasth
Brahmans hold their touch unclean. [455]

_Katare_.--(_Katar_, dagger.) A surname of Sanadhya Brahmans in
Saugor. A section of Agarwal and Oswal Bania, Chhattisgarhi Ahir or
Rawat, Chadar and Basor. The Katare sept of Basors worship a dagger.

_Katharia_.--(From Kathibar, the old name of eastern Rohilkhand.) A
section of Gadaria and Kasar.

_Kathbhaina_;--Subcaste of Baiga in Bilaspur.

_Kathi_.--A Rajput clan included in the thirty-six royal races of
Rajputs. Originally an indigenous tribe of Gujarat, who gave their
name to Kathiawar.

_Kathia_.--Name of an Akhara or school of Bairagi religious
mendicants. See Bairagi.

_Kathotia_.--(_Kathotia_, a wooden bowl.) A section of Darzi.

_Kati_ or _Khatti_.--Subcaste of Bhuiya.

_Katia_.--A cast of spinners. A subcaste of Balahi and Mahar.

_Kattri_.--Subcaste of Are.

_Katwa_.--(From _Katna_, to cut.) Synonym of Katia and Chamar.

_Kaur_.--Synonym of Kawar.

_Kaushalya_.--(From Koshal, the name of a famous Rishi or saint.) A
section of Agarwal Bania, Darzi, Lodhi and Khatri Sunar.

_Kaushik_.--The name of a Rishi or saint. An eponymous section of
Brahmans. A section of Ahir, Dhobi, Rajput, Sunar and other castes.

_Kaviraj_.--Title of a Bhat who has the qualification of literacy,
and can therefore read the old Sanskrit medical works. A physician.

_Kayasth Patwa_.--A subcaste of Patwa in Hoshangabad and Saugor.

_Kekre_.--Subcaste of Gujar.

_Kesaria_.--(From _kesar_, saffron.) A section of Ahir and Gadaria.

_Kewat_.--A caste. A subcaste of Dhimar and Mallah.

_Khad_.--Subcaste of Mana.

_Khadal_.--A caste of palanquin-carriers.

_Khadal_ [456] (honorific titles _Nayak_ and _Behera_).--A small
Dravidian caste of labourers in the Uriya country. In 1901 they
numbered 1200 persons and resided principally in the Patna and
Sonpur States now transferred to Bengal. The Khadals are probably an
offshoot of the great Bauri caste of Bengal, with which the members
of the caste in Patna admitted their identity, though elsewhere they
deny it. Their traditional occupations of palanquin-bearing and
field labour are identical with those of the Bauris, as stated by
Sir H. Risley. [457] The name Khadal is a functional one, denoting
persons who work with a hoe. The Khadals have totemistic exogamous
groups, the Kilasi sept worshipping a tree, the Julsi and Kandualsi
sept a snake-hole, and Balunasi a stone and others the sun. Each
sept salutes the revered object or totem on seeing it, and those
who worship trees will not burn them or stand in their shade. When a
marriage takes place they worship the totem and offer to it flowers,
sandalwood, vermilion, uncooked rice, and the new clothes and ornaments
intended for the bride, which she may not wear until this ceremony
has been performed. Another curious custom adopted by the Khadals
in imitation of the Hindus is that of marrying adult boys and girls,
for whom a partner has not been found, to a tree. But this does not
occur when they arrive at puberty as among Hindu castes, but when a
boy still unmarried becomes thirty years old and a girl twenty. In
such a case he or she is married to a mango, cotton or _jamun_ tree,
and after this no second ceremony need be performed on subsequent
union with a wife or husband. A widower must pay Rs. 10, or double the
usual price, for a second wife, owing to the risk of her death being
caused by the machinations of the first wife's spirit. When a corpse
has been buried or burnt the mourners each take a twig of mango and
beat about in the grass to start a grasshopper. Having captured one
they wrap it in a piece of new cloth, and coming home place it beside
the family god. This they call bringing back the life of the soul,
and consider that the ceremony procures salvation for the dead. The
Khadals are usually considered as impure, but those of Sonpur have
attained a somewhat higher status.

_Khadia_.--(A kind of snake.) A section of Ahir and Raghuvansi. A
sept of Nahal.

_Khadra_, [458] _Khadura_ or _Kharura_.--A small Uriya caste whose
occupation is to make brass ornaments. They are immigrants from
Cuttack and say that they are called there Sankhari, so that the
Khadras may not improbably be an offshoot of the Sankhari caste of
shell-cutters of Bengal. According to their traditions their original
ancestor was created by Viswakarma, the celestial architect, for the
business of making a pinnacle for the temple of Jagannath at Puri,
in which eight metals had to be combined. He left two sons, one of
whom became the ancestor of the Khadras, and the other of the Kasars,
with whom the Khadras thus claim affinity. They have no subcastes but
four _gotras_ or clans called after the Nag or cobra, the Singh or
lion, and Kasyap and Kachchap, both derived from the tortoise. They
also have four _bargas_ or family names, which are Patra (a term of
respect), Das (slave), Sao (banker) and Maharana (artificer). The
groups are supposed to be descended from four families who migrated
from Curtack. Neither _bargas_ nor _gotras_ are now considered in the
arrangement of marriages, which are prohibited between blood relatives
for three generations. Marriage is infant, and a girl arriving at
puberty while still unwed is permanently expelled from the caste. The
Khadras still follow the old rule of writing the _lagun_ or date
of the marriage on a palm-leaf, with which they send Rs. 10-4 as a
bride-price to the girl's father, the acceptance of this constituting
a confirmation of the betrothal. The marriage ceremony resembles
that of the other Uriya castes, and the Khadras have the rite called
_badapani_ or breaking the bachelorhood. A little water brought from
seven houses is sprinkled over the bridegroom and his loin-cloth is
then snatched away, leaving him naked. In this state he runs towards
his own house, but some boys are posted at a little distance who give
him a new cloth. Widow-marriage and divorce are permitted, but the
hand of a widow must not be sought so long as she remains in her late
husband's house, and does not return to her father. When a bachelor
marries a widow he must first perform the regular ceremony with a
leaf-cup filled with flowers, after which he can take the widow as
his second wife. All important agreements are confirmed by a peculiar
custom called _heskani_. A deer-skin is spread on the ground before
the caste committee, and the person making the agreement bows before
it a number of times. To break an agreement made by the _heskani_
rite is believed to involve terrible calamities. The Khadras eat the
flesh of animals and fish but not that of birds, and they do not drink
country liquor. When an estate is to be partitioned the eldest son
first takes a tenth of the whole in right of primogeniture and the
remainder is then divided equally. The Khadras rank as an artisan
caste of somewhat low status.

_Khadura_.--Synonym of Khadra.

_Khaijraha_.--(A resident of Khaira, a town in Central India.) Subcaste
of Chamar.

_Khair, Khaira_.--(From _khair_, catechu or the catechu tree. A maker
of catechu.) Synonym for Khairwar.

_Khairchura_.--(Carechu preparer.) A subcaste of Khairwar.

_Khaire_.--A subcaste of Are (Gondhali), Kanbi and Oraon.

_Khairwar_.--A catechu-making caste. A section of Chamar.

_Khaiyaware_.--(_Khai_, ditch; owing to their houses having been
originally built on the ditch of Hatta fort.) A section of Beldar
Sonkars in Damoh.

_Khaki_.--(From _khak_, ashes.) A class of Bairagi, or religious

_Khalifa_.--(Lord.) An honorific title for Darzis or tailors, and
Muhammadan barbers.

_Khaltaha_.--Subcaste of Ghasia.

_Khaltati_.--(Illegitimate.) Subcaste of Andh.

_Khaltia_.--Subcaste of Basdewa.

_Khamari_.--(Farmservant.) A section of Kolta.

_Khambi_.--(One who hides behind the graveyard.) A sept of Korku.

_Khanda_.--(A sword.) A section of Panka and Mahar.

_Khandait_.--(A swordsman.) An Uriya caste. A subcaste of Sansia,
Taonla and Chasa. Also a name of Koltas in Cuttack.

_Khandapatra_.--(One who cleans swords.) A section of Khandwal.

_Khandapi_.--(_Khanda_, a sword.) A sept of the Dhurwa clan of Sahdeve
or six-god Gonds in Betul, named after the sword of Raja Durga Shah
by which a victory was gained over the Muhammadans.

_Khandele_.--(From _khanda_, sword.) A section of Raghuvansi Rajputs
in Hoshangabad.

_Khandelwal_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Khandeshi_.--(A resident of Khandesh.) A territorial subcaste of
Darzi, Joshi, Mahar and Mang.

_Khanne, Khanna_.--A subdivision of Chargarh Saraswat Brahmans in
Hoshangabad, probably deriving their name from being priests of the
Khanna section of Khatris. A section of Khatri.

_Khanonkha_.--(A kind of basket to catch birds with.) A totemistic
sept of Rautia Kawars in Bilaspur.

_Kharadi_.--(A turner, one who turns woodwork on a lathe.) A synonym
of Kundera and Barhai.

_Kharchi_.--Bastard Marathas forming a separate division as
distinguished from the Khasi or pure Marathas.

_Khare_.--A subdivision of Srivastab, Gaur and Saksena Kayasths,
meaning those of pure descent.

_Khari Bind Kewat_.--Title of the Murha caste.

_Kharodia_.--(A resident of Kharod in Bilaspur.) A subcaste of Nunia.

_Kharsisjha_.--(Maker of cowdung cakes.) A section of Mali.

_Kharwade_.--(Refuse.) A subcaste of Simpi or Maratha Darzi (tailor)
originally formed of excommunicated members of the caste, but now
occupying a position equal to other subcastes in Nagpur.

_Kharwar_.--Synonym of the Khairwar tribe. Subcaste of Chero and Kol.

_Khasi_.--A subdivision of Marathas, meaning those born in wedlock.

_Khasua_.--(A eunuch.) Synonym of Hijra.

_Khati_.--(From the Sanskrit _kskatri_, one who cuts.) A subcaste of
Barhai and Lohar.

_Khatik_.--A caste. Synonym of Chikwa. A subcaste of Pasi in Saugor,
said to have originated in a cross between a Bauri and a Khatik woman.

_Khatkudia_.--(Illegitimate.) A section of Teli in Betul.

_Khatri_.--A caste. A subcaste of Chhipa and of Sunar in Narsinghpur.

_Khatua_.--(Having a cot.) A section of the Hatwa caste.

_Khatulha_ or _Khatola_.--A subtribe of Gond.

_Khatulwar_.--A subtribe of Gonds in Chanda, the same as the Khatulha
of the northern Districts.

_Khawas_.--A title of Nai or barber. A subcaste of Dhuri. A section
of Halba.

_Khedawal_.--A subcaste of Gujarati Brahmans. They take their name
from Kheda or Kaira, a town in Gujarat.

_Khedule_.--From _kheda_, a village. Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Khendro_.--Subcaste of Oraon.

_Kheralawala_.--An immigrant from Kherala in Malwa. Subcaste of

_Kherawal_.--See Khedawal.

_Kheti_.--(Cultivation.) A section of Dumal.

_Khewat_.--Synonym of Kewat.

_Khichi_.--A clan of Rajputs, a branch of the Sesodia clan.

_Khoba_.--(Sticks for fencing the grain-store.) A sept of Kawar;
they abstain from using these sticks.

_Khoksa_.--(A kind of fish.) A totemistic sept of Rautia Kawar in

_Khuntia_.--A subcaste of Agaria. One who uses a _khunti_ or peg to fix
the bellows in the ground for smelting iron. A sept of Savars. (Those
who bury their dead on a high place.)

_Khursam_.--A sept of Pardhan and Dhur Gond.

_Khutha_.--(Impure.) A section of Tamera in Mandla.

_Khyaurokar_.--(One who shaves, from _kshaur_, to shave.) A synonym
of Nai or Bhandari.

_Kilanaya_.--(_Kilna,_ a dog-house.) A nickname section of Ahir.

_Kilkila_.--(The kingfisher.) A sept of Khairwar.

_Killibusum_.--(One who eats dead animals.) A sept of Korku.

_Kindra_.--(One who hides behind a tree.) A sept of Korku.

_Kirachi_ or _Karachi_.--A sept of Gonds of Raipur and Betul.

_Kirad_.--Synonym of Kirar.

_Kirahiboijir_.--(A kind of fruit.) A section of Teli in Nandgaon.

_Kirar_.--A caste. Synonym Dhakar. A subcaste of Kachhi. A section
of Khatik.

_Kirnakha_.--A sept of Gonds in Chanda.

_Kirvant_ or _Kilvant_.--A subdivision of Maharashtra Brahmans in
Khairagarh. The name is said to be derived from _kira_, an insect,
because they kill insects in working their betel-vine gardens. Another
explanation is that the name is really Kriyavant, and that they
are so called because they conducted _kriya_ or funeral services, an
occupation which degraded them. A third form of the name is _Kramwant_
or reciters of the Veda.

_Kisan_.--(A cultivator.) Oraons are commonly known by this name in
Chota Nagpur and Gonds in Mandla and other Districts. A section of
Marar, Rawat or Ahir, and Savar.

_Koathia_.--A section of Bais Rajputs.

_Kochia_.--Perhaps a name for Bahnas or cotton cleaners.

_Kodjet_.--(A conqueror of crores of people.) A section of Bhulia.

_Kohistani_.--(A dweller on mountains.) A section of Pathan.

_Kohkatta_.--A sept of Gonds in Khairagarh.

_Kohri_.--A synonym for the Kohli caste.

_Koi_.--A class of Gonds.

_Koikopal_.--A subcaste of Gond.

_Koilabhut_ or _Koilabhuti_.--A subtribe of Gonds. Their women are

_Koiri_.--A synonym of the Murao caste.

_Koitur_.--A synonym for Gond. The name by which the Gonds call
themselves in many Districts.

_Kokonasth_ or _Chitpavan_.--A subcaste of Maharashtra Brahmans
inhabiting the Konkan country. Chitpavan means the pure in heart.

_Koksinghia_.--_(Koka,_ the Brahmani duck.) A subsection of the
Pardhan section of Koltas.

_Kol_.--A tribe. Subcaste of Dahait.

_Kolabhut_.--A name for Gonds.

_Kolam_.--A tribe. A subtribe of Gonds in Chanda.

_Kolchar_.--A clan of Maratha.

_Kolia_.--(From _kolu_, oil-press.) A section of Teli in Betul.

_Koliha_.--(Jackal.) A section of Panwar Rajput, Chamar and Kawar.

_Kolita_, _Kulta_.--Synonyms of Kolta.

_Kolta_.--A caste. A subcaste of Chasa.

_Kolya_.--(One who hides behind a jackal-hole.) A sept of Korku.

_Komalwar_.--(_Komal_, soft.) A section of Kurumwar.

_Komati_.--Synonym of Komti.

_Kommu_.--(A story-teller.) Subcaste of Madgi.

_Kondawar_.--(_Konda_, a mountain.) A section of Palewar Dhimar and
Koshti in Chanda.

_Kondwan_ or _Kundi_.--A name of a tract south of the Mahanadi which is
called after the Khond tribe, and was formerly owned by them. Subcaste
of Baiga.

_Korai_.--A subcaste of Ahir or Rawat in Bilaspur.

_Koraku_.--(Young men.) Subcaste of Korwa.

_Koratkul_.--A section of Komti; they do not eat the _kumhra_
or pumpkin.

_Korava_.--Synonym of Yerukala.

_Korchamar_.--A descendant of alliances between Chamars and Koris or
weavers. Subcaste of Chamar.

_Kori_.--A caste. A subcaste of Balahi, Jaiswara Chamar and Katia.

_Korku_.--A tribe. A subtribe of Nahal.

_Korre_.--(Residents of the Korai hill-tract in Seoni.) Subcaste
of Injhwar.

_Kosaria_.--A subcaste of Rawat or Ahir, Barai, Dhobi, Kalar, Mali,
Panka and Teli; a section of Chamar and Gond.

_Koshti_, _Koshta_.--A caste of weavers. See article. A subcaste of
Katia and Bhulia.

_Koskati_.--A subcaste of Koshti.

_Kothari_--(A store-keeper, from _kotha_, a store-room.) A section
of Oswal and Maheshri Banias.

_Kotharya_.--(A store-keeper.) Subcaste of Chitrakathi.

_Kotwal_.--(Keeper of a castle, or a village watchman.) Honorific title
of the Khangar caste. A surname of Yajurvedi Brahmans in Saugor. A
section of Halba.

_Kotwar_.--A person holding the office of village watchman. This post
is usually assigned to members of the lowest or impure castes derived
from the aboriginal tribes, such as the Mahars, Ramosis, Gandas,
Pankas, Minas and Khangars. Some of these were or still are much
addicted to crime. The name _kotwar_ appears to be a corruption of
_kotwal_, the keeper or guardian of a _kot_ or castle. Under native
rule the kotwal was the chief of police in important towns, and the
central police office in some towns is still called the kotwali after
him. In some villages there are still to be found both a kotwal and
a kotwar; in this case the former performs the duties of watch and
ward of the village, and the latter has the menial work of carrying
messages, collecting supplies and so on. Both are paid by fixed
annual contributions of grain from the cultivators. In Hoshangabad
the kotwar is allowed to glean for a day in the fields of each tenant
after the crop has been removed. It would appear that the kotwar was
chosen from the criminal castes as a method of insurance. The kotwar
was held responsible for the good behaviour of his caste-fellows,
and was often under the obligation of making good any property stolen
by them. And if a theft occurred in another village and the thief was
traced into the borders of the kotwar's village he was bound to take
up the pursuit and show that the thief had passed beyond his village,
or to pay for the stolen property. Thieves were sometimes tracked by
the kotwar, and sometimes in Gujarat and Central India by a special
official called Paggal, [459] who measured their footprints with a
string, and in this way often followed them successfully from village
to village. [460] The rule that the kotwar had to make good all thefts
occurring in his village or perpetrated by criminals belonging to it,
can only have been enforced to a very partial extent, as unless he
could trace the property he would be unable to pay any substantial
sum out of his own means. Still, it apparently had a considerable
effect in the protection of property in the rural area, for which
the regular police probably did very little. It was similarly the
custom to employ a _chaukidar_ or night-watchman to guard private
houses when the owners could afford it, and this man was taken from
a criminal caste on the same principle.

The kotwar was also the guardian of the village boundaries, and his
opinion was often taken as authoritative in all cases of disputes
about land. This position he perhaps occupied as a representative of
the pre-Aryan tribes, the oldest residents of the country, and his
appointment may have also been partly based on the idea that it was
proper to employ one of them as the guardian of the village lands,
just as the priest of the village gods of the earth and fields was
usually taken from these tribes.

In some localities those members of an impure caste such as the
Mahars, who hold the office of village watchman, obtain a certain
rise in status on account of the office, and show a tendency to
marry among themselves. Similarly persons of the impure Ganda caste,
who joined the Kabirpanthi sect and now form a separate and somewhat
higher caste under the name of Panka, usually work as village watchmen
in preference to the Gandas. Under British rule the kotwar has been
retained as a village policeman, and his pay increased and generally
fixed in cash. Besides patrolling the village, he has to report all
cognisable crime at the nearest police post as well as births and
deaths occurring in the village, and must give general assistance
to the regular police in the detection of crime. Kotwar is used in
Saugor as a synonym for the Chadar caste. It is also a subcaste of
the Kori caste.

_Kowa_.--(A crow.) A section of Tamera and of Gond in Chanda.

_Koya_ A subtribe of Gond in Bastar.

_Koyudu_.--A synonym of Gond in Chanda used by Telugus.

_Kramikul_.--A section of Komti. They do not use the black radish.

_Kshatriya_.--Name of the second Hindu classical caste or the warrior
caste. Synonym for Rajput.

_Kshirsagar_.--(Ocean of Milk.) A section of Panwar Rajput, and a
proper name of Maratha Brahmans.

_Kuch_.--(A weaver's brush.) A section of Raghuvansi Rajputs in

_Kuchbandhia_, _Kunchbandhia_.--(A maker of weavers' brushes.) Synonym
and subcaste of Beldar in Chhattisgarh.

_Kudaiya_.--(_Kodon_, a small millet.) A section of Ahir.

_Kudappa_.--A sept of Gonds in Raipur and Khairagarh.

_Kudarbohna_.--A Hindu Bhana.

_Kudaria_.--(_Kudali_, a pickaxe.) A section of the Bharia tribe.

_Kukra_.--(A dog.) A totemistic sept of Bhatra Gonds. A section
of Kumhar.

_Kukuta_.--(Cock.) A sept of Gonds in Raipur.

_Kulatia_.--A section of Basor. From _kulara_, a somersault, because
they perform somersaults at the time of the _maihir_ ceremony, or
eating the marriage cakes.

_Kuldip_.--(The lamp of the family.) A section of Panka in Raipur.

_Kuldiya_.--(Those who stop eating if the lamp goes out at supper.) A
section of Ghasia.

_Kulin_.--(Of high caste.) A well-known class of Bengali Brahmans. A
subdivision of Uriya Mahantis. A section of Panka.

_Kulshreshta_.--(Of good family.) A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Kuman_.--Subcaste of Barai.

_Kumarrha_ or _Kumarra_.--(A bird.) A sept of Sahdeve or six-god
Gonds. In Betul the members of this sept do not eat or kill a goat
or sheep, and throw away any article smelt by one.

_Kumarshishta_.--A section of Komti. They do not use _mehndi_ or
henna leaves.

_Kumbhar_.--(Potter.) Marathi synonym for Kumhar. A section of Ganda
and Bhulia.

_Kumbhoj_.--(Born of a pitcher, a Rishi or saint.) An eponymous
section of Agharia.

_Kumbhira_.--(Crocodile.) A totemistic sept of Bhulia.

_Kumbhwar_.--(_Kumbh_, a pot.) A surname of Gandli in Chanda.

_Kumharbans_.--(Descended from a potter.) A section of Ghasia.

_Kumrayete_.--(_Yete_, a goat.) A sept of the Uika clan of Sahdeve
or six-god Gonds in Betul. They do not eat goats, and are said to
have offered human sacrifices in ancient times.

_Kunbi_.--A caste. Subcaste of Dangri, Gondhali and Maratha.

_Kumrawat, [461] Patbina, Dangur_.--A small caste of _san_-hemp growers
and weavers of sacking. They are called Kumrawat in the northern
Districts and Patbina (_pat patti_, sacking, and _binna_, to weave)
in Chhattisgarh. A small colony of hemp-growers in the Betul District
are known as Dangur, probably from the _dang_ or wooden steelyard which
they use for weighing hemp. Both the Kumrawats and Dangurs claim Rajput
origin, and may be classed together. The caste of Barais or betel-vine
growers have a subcaste called Kumrawat, and the Kumrawats may be an
offshoot of the Barais, who split off from the parent body on taking
to the cultivation of hemp. As most Hindu castes have until recently
refused to grow hemp, the Kumrawats are often found concentrated in
single villages. Thus a number of Patbinas reside in Darri, a village
in the Khujji zamindari of Raipur, while the Dangurs are almost
all found in the village of Masod in Betul; in Jubbulpore Khapa is
their principal centre, and in Seoni the village of Deori. The three
divisions of the caste known by the names given above marry, as a rule,
among themselves. For their exogamous groups the Dangurs have usually
the names of different Rajput septs, the Kumrawats have territorial
names, and those of the Patbinas are derived from inanimate objects,
though they have no totemistic practices.

The number of girls in the caste is usually insufficient, and hence
they are married at a very early age. The boy's father, accompanied
by a few friends, goes to the girl's father and addresses a proposal
for marriage to him in the following terms: "You have planted a
tamarind tree which has borne fruit. I don't know whether you will
catch the fruit before it falls to the ground if I strike it with my
stick." The girl's father, if he approves of the match, says in reply,
'Why should I not catch it?' and the proposal for the marriage is
then made. The ceremony follows the customary ritual in the northern
Districts. When the family gods are worshipped, the women sit round a
grinding-stone and invite the ancestors of the family by name to attend
the wedding, at the same time placing a little cowdung in one of the
interstices of the stone. When they have invited all the names they
can remember they plaster up the remaining holes, saying, 'We can't
recollect any more names.' This appears to be a precaution intended
to imprison any spirits which may have been forgotten, and to prevent
them from exercising an evil influence on the marriage in revenge for
not having been invited. Among the Dangurs the bride and bridegroom
go to worship at Hanuman's shrine after the ceremony, and all along
the way the bride beats the bridegroom with a tamarind twig. The
dead are both buried and burnt, and mourning is observed during a
period of ten days for adults and of three days for children. But if
another child has been born to the mother after the one who has died,
the full period of mourning must be observed for the latter; because
it is said that in this case the mother does not tear off her _sari_
or body-cloth to make a winding-sheet for the child as she does when
her latest baby dies. The Kumrawats both grow and weave hemp, though
they have no longer anything like a monopoly of its cultivation. They
make the _gons_ or double bags used for carrying grain on bullocks. In
Chhattisgarh the status of the Patbinas is low, and no castes except
the most debased will take food or water from them. The Kumrawats of
Jubbulpore occupy a somewhat more respectable position and take rank
with Kachhis, though below the good cultivating castes. The Dangurs
of Betul will take food from the hands of the Kunbis.

_Kumrayete_.--(_Yete_, a goat.) A sept of the Uika clan of Sahdeve
or six-god Gonds in Betul. They do not eat goats, and are said to
have offered human sacrifices in ancient times.

_Kunbi_.--A caste. Subcaste of Dangri, Gondhali and Maratha.

_Kundera_.--A caste. A subcaste of the Larhia Beldars.

_Kundera_, _Kharadi_.--A small caste of wood-turners akin to the
Barhais or carpenters. In 1911 the caste numbered 120 persons,
principally in Saugor. When asked for the name of their caste they
not infrequently say that they are Rajputs; but they allow widows to
remarry, and their social customs and position are generally the same
as those of the Barhais. Both names of the caste are functional, being
derived from the Hindi _kund_, and the Arabic _kharat_, a lathe. Some
of them abstain from flesh and liquor, and wear the sacred thread,
merely with a view to improve their social position. The Kunderas
make toys from the _dudhi_ (_Holarrhena antidysenterica_) and huqqa
stems from the wood of the _khair_ or catechu tree. The toys are
commonly lacquered, and the surface is smoothed with a dried leaf of
the _kevara_ tree. [462] They also make chessmen, wooden flutes and
other articles.

_Kundgolakar_.--A subdivision of degraded Maratha Brahmans, the
offspring of adulterous connections.

_Kunjam_.--A sept of Solaha in Raipur. A section of Basor and
Bhunjia. A sept of Gond and Pardhan.

_Kunnatya_--(Rope-dancer.) A name applied to Nats.

_Kunti_ or _Kunte_.--(_Kunti_, lame.) A subcaste of Kapewar, synonym
Bhiksha Kunti or lame beggars.

_Kunwar_.--(Prince.) A title of Rajput ruling families. A section of
Rajput and Kawar.

_Kura Sasura_.--Husband's elder brother. Title of Kharia.

_Kurathiya_, _Kuratia_.--(From _kur_, a fowl, which they have given
up eating.) A subtribe of Gonds in Khairagarh.

_Kurha_ or _Sethia_.--Title of the Sonkar caste headman.

_Kurkere_.--One who moulds his vessels on a stone slab revolving on
a stick and not on a wheel. Subcaste of Kumhar.

_Kurmeta_.--A sept of Gonds in Chanda.

_Kurmgutia_.--(From _kurm_, tortoise.) A section of Mahar.

_Kurmi_.--A caste. A subcaste of Agharia in the Uriya country. A
subcaste of Barai. A sept of Pardhan. A section of Mahar.

_Kurochi_.--(_Kur_, hen.) A sept of the Uika clan of Sahdeve or
six-god Gonds in Betul, so named because their priest once stole a hen.

_Kurpachi_.--(_Kur_, hen.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds in
Betul, so named because their priest offered the contents of a hen's
intestines to the gods.

_Kurru_ or _Kura_.--Title of Yerukala.

_Kusangia_.--(Of bad company.) A section of Lohar.

_Kushbansi_.--A subcaste of Ahir. (Descendants of Kush, one of the
two sons of Rama.)

_Kush Ranjan_.--A section of Brahman, Barai, Chamar, Chandnahu Kurmi,
Rawat (Ahir), Marar and Rajbhar.

_Kushta_, _Koshta_.--Subcaste of Kori.

_Kuslia_.--(_Kusli_, boat.) A subcaste of Mali.

_Kusram_.--_(Kusri_, pulse.) A sept of the Uika Gonds in Betul
and Chanda.

_Labhana_.--Synonym and subcaste of Banjara.

_Lad_.--The old name for the territory of Gujarat. A subcaste of Bania,
Kalar, Koshti and Sunar.

_Ladaimar_.--One who hunts jackals and sells and eats their
flesh. Subcaste of Jogi.

_Ladele_.--(Quarrelsome.) A section of Shribathri Teli.

_Ladjin_.--Subcaste of Banjara.

_Ladse_ or _Ladvi_.--Subcaste of Chamar and Dhangar.

_Ladwan_, _Ladvan_.--A subcaste of Mahar. Perhaps from Lad, the old
name of Gujarat.

_Laheri_.--Synonym of Lakhera.

_Laheria_.--Subcaste of Brahman.

_Lahgera_ or _Lahugera_.--(_Lahanga_, weaver.) A subcaste of Kori.

_Lahuri Sen_.--A subcaste of Barai in the northern Districts who are
formed of excommunicated members of the caste.

_Lahuria_.--(From Lahore.) A section of Rathor and Chauhan Banjaras.

_Lajjhar_.--Synonym of Rajjhar.

_Lakariha_.--A subdivision of Pardhan in Kawardha. While begging they
play a musical instrument, hence the name from _lakri_, a stick.

_Lala_.--(A term of endearment.) Synonym for Kayasth. A subcaste
of Chamar.

_Lalbegi_.--A follower of Lalbeg, patron saint of the sweepers. Synonym
of Mehtar.

_Lal Padri_.--Red priests, because they rub _geru_ or red ochre on
their bodies. Title of Jogi.

_Lamechu_.--A subcaste of Bania.

_Langoti_.--Subcaste of Pardhi. They wear only a narrow strip of
cloth called _langoti_ round the loins.

_Lanjia_.--A subcaste of Lohar and Nai, from Lanji in Balaghat. A
subtribe of Gonds in Khairagarh.

_Lanjiwar_.--(One living round Lanji in Balaghat.) Subcaste of Injhwar.

_Laphangia_.--(Upstart.) A section of Kolta.

_Laria_, _Larhia_.--(Belonging to Chhattisgarh.) A synonym of
Beldar. A subcaste of Bhaina, Binjhwar, Chamar, Ganda, Ghasia, Gond,
Gosain, Kalar, Kewat, Koshti, Mahar, Marar, Mowar, Panka, Savar,
Sunar and Teli.

_Lasgaria_.--A class of Bairagi mendicants.

_Lasukar_.--A subcaste of Gondhalis who sell books and calendars.

_Lat_.--Subcaste of Chamar.

_Lave_.--Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Laya_.--(Bird.) A section of Binjhwar, Mahar, and Panka.

_Lekha_.--Subcaste of Gujar.

_Lemuan_, _Limuan_.--(Tortoise.) A totemistic sept of Audhelia,
Munda and Oraon.

_Lidha_.--(Excrement of swine.) Subcaste of Khatik in Jubbulpore.

_Lilia_.--(From _lil_ or _nil_, the indigo plant.) Subcaste of Kachhi.

_Lilorhia_.--Subcaste of Gujar.

_Limba_.--_(Nim_ tree.) A totemistic section of Dumals.

_Lingayat_.--A religious order which has become a caste. See article
and subordinate article to Bania. A subcaste of Bania and Kumhar.

_Lodha_.--Synonym of Lodhi. Subcaste of Lodhi.

_Lohar_.--A caste of blacksmiths, synonym Luhura. A section of Binjhwar
and Ganda.

_Lohar Barhai_.--A subcaste of Barhai in Bundelkhand.

_Loharia_.--A subcaste of Ahir.

_Lonaria_.--A salt-maker. Subcaste of Mahar.

_Lonchatia_.--(Salt-licker.) A sept of the Uika clan of Gonds. The
members of this sept lick salt on the death of their relatives. Another
account from Betul says that they spread salt on a platform raised
in honour of the dead and make cattle lick it up.

_Londhari_.--A small caste of cultivators found in the Bhandara
District. They appear to be immigrants from northern India, as their
women wear the Hindustani dress and they speak Hindi at home. At their
weddings the bridal couple walk round the sacred post according to
the northern custom. When a widow marries again the couple worship a
sword before the ceremony. If a man is convicted of an intrigue with
a low-caste woman, he has to submit to a symbolical purification by
fire. A heap of juari-stalks is piled all round him and set alight,
but as soon as the fire begins to burn he is permitted to escape
from it. This rite is known as Agnikasht. The Londharis appear to be
distinct from the Lonhare Kunbis of Betul, with whom I was formerly
inclined to connect them. These latter derive their name from the
Lonar Mehkar salt lake in the Buldana District, and are probably
so called because they once collected the salt evaporated from the
lake. They thus belong to the Maratha country, whereas the Londharis
probably came from northern India. The name Lonhare is also found as
a subdivision of one or two other castes living in the neighbourhood
of the Lonar Mehkar lake.

_Londhe_, _Londe_.--(One who hides himself behind cloth.) A section
of Kohli. A sept of Korku.

_Londibacha_.--A subcaste of Kasar, including persons of illegitimate

_Lonhare_, _Lonare_.--(From Lonar-Mehkar, the well-known salt lake
of the Buldana District.) A subcaste of Kunbi. A section of Arakh
and Ahir.

_Ludhela_.--A section of Basor who worship the _ludhia_, a round
stone for pounding food, at the Maihar ceremony.

_Luhura_.--(One who works in iron.) Synonym of Lohar. Subcaste
of Sidhira.

_Lunia_.--Synonym of Murha, Nunia.

_Machhandar_.--(One who catches fish.) Synonym of Dhimar.

_Machhandra Nath_.--A subdivision of Jogi.

_Machhia_.--(From _machhi_, fish.) A section of Dhimar and Lodhi.

_Machhri_.--(Fish.) A sept of Oraon.

_Mada Kukuria_.--(Dead dog.) A subsection of the Viswal section
of Koltas.

_Madankul_.--A section of Komti. They do not use red clothes, nor
the wood of the swallow-wort tree.

_Madari_.--A class of Fakirs or Muhammadan beggars.

_Made_.--A resident of the Mad country in Chanda and Bastar. Subcaste
of Pardhan.

_Madgi_, _Madiga_. [463]--The Telugu caste of workers in leather
corresponding to the Chamars, which numbers nearly 1 1/2 millions in
Madras, Mysore and Hyderabad. In 1911 there were nearly 6000 Madgis
in the Central Provinces and 3000 in Berar. According to tradition,
the Madigas derive their name from that of a sage called Matanga Muni,
and it is said that a dynasty belonging to the caste once ruled in
the Canarese country. The following legend of their origin comes from
Mysore: [464] In former times the sage Jambava Rishi was habitually
late in attending at Siva's court. Siva asked him why this happened,
and he replied that he was occupied in tending his children. On
this Siva took pity on him and gave him the sacred cow, Kamdhenu,
from which all the needs of the children could be satisfied. But one
day while Jambava was absent at Siva's court, another sage, Sankhya,
visited his hermitage and was hospitably entertained by his son,
Yugamuni. The cream which Sankhya was given was so good that he
desired to kill the cow, Kamdhenu, thinking that her flesh would
taste even better. In spite of Yugamuni's objections Sankhya killed
the cow and distributed the meat to various persons. While this was
in progress Jambava returned, and, on hearing what had been done,
dragged Sankhya and Yugamuni before Siva's judgment seat. The two
offenders did not enter the court but stood outside the doorway,
Sankhya on the right side and Yugamuni on the left. Siva condemned them
to become Chandalas or outcastes, and the descendants of Sankhya have
become the right-hand Holias, while those of Yugamuni and his wife
Matangi are the left-hand caste of Madigas. The latter were set to
make shoes to expiate the sin committed by their ancestor in killing
a cow. Another story given in the Central Provinces is that the Golla
caste of cowherds, corresponding to the Ahirs and the Madgis, are the
descendants of two brothers. The brothers had a large herd of cattle
and wanted to divide them. At this time, however, cattle disease was
prevalent, and many of the herd were affected. The younger brother did
not know of this, and seeing that most of the herd were lying on the
ground, he proposed to the elder brother that he himself should take
all the cattle lying on the ground, and the elder brother all those
which were standing up, as a suitable method of division. The elder
brother agreed, but when the younger came to take his cattle which
were on the ground he found that they were all dead, and hence he had
no alternative but to take off the hides and cure and sell them. His
descendants continued his degraded profession and became the Madgi
caste. In Chanda the following six subcastes of Madgis are reported:
The Nulka Chandriah or caste priests; the Anapa or leather dealers;
the Sindhi who are supposed to have been performers of dramas; the
Masti or dancers; the Kommu or tellers of stories; and the Dekkala
or genealogists of the caste. It is said that Kommu really means a
horn and Dekka a hoof. These last two are the lowest subdivisions,
and occupy a most degraded position. In theory they should not sleep
on cots, pluck the leaves of trees, carry loads on any animal other
than a donkey, or even cook food for themselves, but should obtain
their subsistence by eating the leavings of other Madgis or members
of different castes. The Nulka Chandriah or priests are the highest
subdivision and will not take food or water from any of the others,
while the four remaining subcastes eat and drink together, but do
not intermarry. There are also a number of exogamous groups, most of
which have territorial names; but a few are titular or totemistic,
as--Mukkidi, noseless; Kumawar, a potter; Nagarwar, a citizen;
Dobbulwar, one who possesses a _dobbulu_ or copper coin; Ippawar, from
the mahua tree; Itkalwar from _itkal_ a brick, and so on. The caste
customs of the Madigas need not be recorded in detail. They are an
impure caste and eat all kinds of food, and the leavings of others,
though the higher subdivisions refuse to accept these. They live
outside the village, and their touch is considered to convey pollution.

_Madhavacharya_.--A Vishnuite sect and order of religious
mendicants. See Bairagi.

_Madhyanjan, Madhyandina_.--A class of Brahmans, the same as the
Yajur-Vedis, or a section of them.

_Madia_.--A class of Gonds in Bastar.

_Madpotwa_.--(One who distils liquor.) Subcaste of Teli.

_Madrasi_.--Subcaste of Dhobi.

_Magadha_.--A subcaste of Ahir or Rawat in Chhattisgarh, who ask for
food from others and do not cook for themselves.

_Magar, Magra_.--A sept of Khangar, Ahir or Rawat, Gond and Chadar.

_Magida_.--Synonym of Madgi.

_Mahabrahman_.--A degraded class of Brahmans who accept gifts for
the dead.

_Mahadeva Thakur_.--(Lord Mahadeo.) A section of Mali.

_Mahajalia_.--(Deceitful.) A section of Lohar.

_Mahajan_.--A banker. Title of the Bania caste.

_Mahakul_.--Synonym for Ahir.

_Mahalodhi_.--(Great Lodhi.) Subcaste of Lodhi.

_Mahanadiya_.--(Those who came from the Mahanadi river.) A subcaste
of Lodhi. A section of Ganda, Ghasia and Panka.

_Mahant_.--Chief of a _math_ or monastery. A superior class of
priest. A section of Ahir, Panka, Chamar and Koshta.

_Mahanti_.--A synonym for the Karan or writer caste of Orissa. A
section of Chasa.

_Mahapatra_.--A subdivision of degraded Brahmans who take funeral
gifts. An honorific title of Thanapati and of Uriya Brahmans. A
subcaste of Bhat.

_Mahar_.--A caste. A subcaste of Balahi and Gondhali. A section of
Rawat in Raigarh.

_Maharaj_.--(Great king.) A title of Brahmans.

_Mahurana_.--Synonym of Chitari.

_Maharashtra_ or _Marathe_.--One of the five orders of Panch Dravida
Brahmans inhabiting the Maratha country. They are also called Dakshini
Brahmans. A subcaste of Kumhar, Kasar and Lohar.

_Mahedia_.--A section of Basors who worship pounded rice mixed
with curds.

_Mahenga_.--(An elephant.) A totemistic sept of Rautia and Kawar
in Bilaspur.

_Maheshri_.--Subcaste of Baina.

_Mahili_.--Synonym for Mahli.

_Mahipia_.--(A drinker of curds.) A subsection of the Viswal section
of Koltas.

_Mahisur_.--(Lord of the earth.) A synonym of Brahmans.

_Mahli-Munda._--Subcaste of Mahli.

_Mahobia_.--(From the town of Mahoba in Central India.) A subcaste of
Barai, Chamar, Dangi, Ghasia, Khangar and Mahar. A section of Dangi,
Kumhar and Kori.

_Mahoda_.--A subdivision of Brahmans in Jubbulpore.

_Mahore, Mahure_.--A subcaste of Bania, Kori, Kumhar and Kalar.

_Mahratta_.--Synonym of Maratha.

_Mahto, Mahton_.--A chief or village headman. Subcaste and title of
Teli and Khairwar; title of the leader of the Bhuiya caste. A section
of Ganda and Rawat (Ahir).

_Mahur_.--(Poison.) A subcaste of Sunars in Chhindwara.

_Mahure, Mahuria_.--(From Mahur, a town in Hyderabad.) Subcaste of
Barhai and Dhangar.

_Mai_.--(Mother.) A division of the Kabirpanthi sect.

_Maichhor_.--A small clan of Rajputs. Perhaps from Maichuri in Jaipur.

_Mailwar_.--(Dirty.) A group of Sunars in Raipur.

_Maina_.--Synonym of Mina.

_Mair_.--A subcaste of Sunar named after Mair, their original ancestor,
who melted down a golden demon.

_Maithil_.--One of the five divisions of Panch Gaur Brahmans inhabiting
the province of Maithil or Bihar and Tirhut.

_Majarewar_.--A territorial section of Binjhwar (from Majare in

_Majhi_.--(A village headman.) Title of Bhatra.

_Majhia_.--Synonym of Majhwar.

_Majhli_.--(Middle.) Subcaste of Rautia.

_Makaria_.--(From _makad_, monkey.) A subcaste of Kamar, so called
because they eat monkeys.

_Makhia_.--Subcaste of Mehtar.

_Malaiya_.--An immigrant from Malwa. Subcaste of Chhipa.

_Male_, _Maler_.--Synonyms of Mal.

_Malha_.--A boatman. Synonym of Mallah.

_Malhar_.--Subcaste of Koli.

_Mali_.--(A caste.) A section of Kalar.

_Mal-Paharia_.--Synonym of Mal.

_Malvi_, _Malwi_.--(From _Malwa_.) A subdivision of Brahmans in
Hoshangabad and Betul. A subcaste of Ahir, Barhai, Darzi, Dhobi,
Gadaria, Kalar, Koshti, Kumhar, Nai and Sunar.

_Malyar._ [465]--A small and curious caste of workers in gold and
silver in Bastar State. They are known alternatively as Marhatia
Sunar or Panchal, and outsiders call them Adhali. The name Malyar is
said to be derived from _mal_, dirt, and _jar_ or _jalna_, to burn,
the Malyars having originally been employed by Sunars or goldsmiths
to clean and polish their ornaments. No doubt can be entertained that
the Malyars are in reality Gonds, as they have a set of exogamous
septs all of which belong to the Gonds, and have Gondi names. So
far as possible, however, they try to disguise this fact and perform
their marriages by walking round the sacred post like the Hindustani
castes. They will take food cooked without water from Brahmans,
Rajputs and Banias, but will not eat _katcha_ (or food cooked with
water) from anybody, and not even from members of their own caste
unless they are relatives. This custom is common to some other castes
of mixed descent, and indicates that illicit connections are frequent
among the Malyars, as indeed would necessarily be the case owing to
the paucity of their numbers. But their memories are short, and the
offspring of such irregular unions are recognised as belonging to
the caste after one or two generations. An outsider belonging to any
higher caste may be admitted to the community. The caste worship Mata
Devi or the goddess of smallpox, and revere the spirit of a Malyar
woman who became a Sati. They have learned as servants of the Sunars
the rudiments of their art, and manufacture rough ornaments for the
primitive people of Bastar.

_Mana Ojha_.--Subcaste of Ojha.

_Mandal_.--(A name for a prosperous cultivator in Chhattisgarh.) A
section of Chamar and Panka. See article Kurmi.

_Mandilwar_.--Name derived from Mandla. Subcaste of Katia.

_Mandkul_.--A section of Komti who do not eat mangoes.

_Mandlaha_.--(From Mandla town.) Subtribe of Gond.

_Mane Kunbi_.--Subcaste of Gondhali.

_Mang_ or _Mangia_.--A caste. Subcaste of Ganda, Gondhali, Bahrupia.

_Mangan_.--(From _Manghunia_, beggar.) A caste.

_Mangan_. [466]--A small caste found in Chhattisgarh and Sambalpur
who are the musicians and genealogists of the Ghasias. The term
is considered opprobrious, as it means 'beggar,' and many Mangans
probably return themselves as Ghasias. They are despised by the
Ghasias, who will not take food or water from them. At the marriages
of the former the Mangans play on a drum called _ghunghru_, which they
consider as the badge of the caste, their cattle being branded with a
representation of it. The only point worth notice about the caste is
that they are admittedly of mixed descent from the unions of members
of other castes with Ghasia prostitutes. They have five totemistic
exogamous sections, about each of which a song is sung relating its
origin. The Sunani sept, which worships gold as its totem and occupies
the highest position, is said to be descended from a Brahman father
and a Ghasia mother; the Sendaria sept, worshipping vermilion, from
a Kewat ancestor and a Ghasia woman; the Bhainsa sept, worshipping
a buffalo, from a Gaur or Ahir and a Ghasia; the Mahanadia sept,
having the Mahanadi for their totem, from a Gond and a Ghasia woman;
while the Bagh sept, who revere the tiger, say that a cow once gave
birth to two young, one in the form of a tiger and the other of a
human being; the latter on growing up took a Ghasia woman to himself
and became the ancestor of the sept. As might be expected from their
ancestry, the Mangan women are generally of loose character. The
Mangans sometimes act as sweepers.

_Mangta._--(A beggar.) A subcaste of Pasi in Sangor, who beg from
their caste-fellows.

_Maniara._--(A Pedlar.) Subcaste of Jogi.

_Manihar._--A caste. The Manihars are also known as Bisati. An
occupational name of Jogis.

_Manikpuria._--(A resident Manikpur.) Subcaste of Panka.

_Manjhi._--(Headman.) A synonym of Santal and Kewat. A section of
Chasa, Dhanuhar and Kolta. A title of Chasa.

_Manjur._--(Peacock.) A totemistic sept of Munda.

_Manjmar._--Term for a boatman. Included in Kewat.

_Mankar._--Name of a superior class of village watchmen in Nimar
District. See article Bhil. A subcaste of Mana and Halba.

_Mannepuwar._--A subcaste of Mala. Synonym, Teluga Bhoi.

_Manwa._--Subcaste of Kunbi.

_Marabi._--A common sept of Gond. A section of Nat.

_Marai._--(A name for the goddess of cholera, who is called Marai
Mata.) A common sept of Gond. Also a sept of Baiga, Pasor and
Bhunjia. A subcaste of Majhwar.

_Maral._--Synonym of Mali.

_Marapa._--A sept of Gonds in Betul, who abstain from killing or
eating a goat or sheep and throw away any article smelt by them.

_Marar._--Synonym for Mali, a gardener. Also a subcaste of Kachhi.

_Maratha, Marathe._--A caste. A subcaste of Barhai, Bedar, Chamar,
Dhimar, Gadaria, Kumhar, Mahar, Mali, Mang, Nai and Teli.

_Marathi, Maratha, Marthe, Marathe._--(A resident of the Maratha
country.) Subcaste of Bahrupia, Chamar, Dhargar, Gundhali, Gopal,
Injhwar, Kaikari, Kasar, Koshti, Nahal, Otari.

_Marathia._--Resident of Bhandara or another Maratha District. Subcaste
of Halba.

_Maria._--A well-known tribe of Gonds in Bastar and Chanda. See article
Gond. A subcaste of Gowari. A section of Ahir, Chamar and Kumhar.

_Markam._--(_Marka,_ mango.) One of the principal septs of Gonds. Also
a sept of Baiga, Basor, Bhumjia, Pardhan and Solaha.

_Marori._ [467]--A small caste of degraded Rajputs from Marwar found
in the Bhandara and Chhindwara Districts and also in Berar. The
name is a local corruption of Marwari, and is applied to them by
their neighbours, though many of the caste do not accept it and call
themselves Rajputs. In Chhindwara they go by the name of Chhatri, and
in the Tirora Tahsil they are known as Alkari, because they formerly
grew the _al_ or Indian madder for a dye, though it has now been
driven out of the market. They have been in the Central Provinces for
some generations, and though retaining certain peculiarities of dress,
which show their northern origin, have abandoned in many respects the
caste usages of Rajputs. Their women wear the Hindustani _angia_ tied
with string behind in place of the Maratha _choli_ or breast-cloth, and
drape their _saris_ after the northern fashion. They wear ornaments
of the Rajputans shape on their arms, and at their weddings they
sing Marwari songs. They have Rajput sept names, as Parihar, Rathor,
Solanki, Sesodia and others, which constitute exogamous groups and
are called _kulis._ Some of these have split up into two or three
subdivisions, as, for instance, the Pathar (stone) Panwars, the Pandhre
or white Panwars and the Dhatura or thorn-apple Panwars; and members
of these different groups may intermarry. The reason seems to be that
it was recognised that people belonged to the same Panwar sept who
were not blood kin to each other, and the prohibition of marriage
between them was a serious inconvenience in a small community. They
also have eponymous _gotras_, as Vasishtha, Batsa and others of the
Brahmanical type, but these do not influence exogamy. The paucity of
their numbers and the influence of local usage have caused them to
relax the marriage rules adhered to by Rajputs. Women are very scarce,
and a price varying from forty to a hundred rupees is commonly paid
for a bride, though they feel keenly the degradation attaching to the
acceptance of a bride-price. Widow-marriage is permitted, no doubt
for the same reasons, and a girl going wrong with a man of another
caste may be readmitted to the community. Divorce is not permitted,
and an unfaithful wife may be abandoned; she cannot then marry again
in the caste. Formerly, on the arrival of the marriage procession, the
bride's and bridegroom's parties let off fireworks, aiming them against
each other, but this practice is now discontinued. When the bridegroom
approaches the marriage-shed the bride comes out and strikes him on the
breast or forehead with a ball of dough, a sheet being held between
them; the bridegroom throws a handful of rice over her and strikes
the festoons of the shed with a naked sword. A bachelor espousing a
widow must first be married to a ring, which he thereafter carries
in his ear, and if it is lost funeral ceremonies must be performed
as for a real wife. Women are tattooed on the arms only. Children
have as many as five names, one for ordinary use, and the others for
ceremonial purposes and the arrangement of marriages. If a man kills
a cow or a cat he must have a miniature figure of the animal made of
gold and give it to a Brahman in expiation of his sin.

_Marskola_.--(From _markets_, an axe.) A common sept of Gonds and

_Maru_.--Subcaste of Charan Bhats.

_Marwari_.--A resident of Marwar or the desert tract of Rajputana;
Marwar is also used as a name for Jodhpur State. See subordinate
article Rajput-Rathor. The name Marwari is commonly applied to Banias
coming from Marwar. See article Bania. A subcaste of Bahna, Gurao,
Kumhar, Nai, Sunar and Teli.

_Masania_.--(From _masin_, straw or grass mats, or _masina_, thatched
roof.) A section of Lohar. A synonym for San Bhatras in Bastar.

_Mashki_.--(A water-bearer.) Synonym of Bhishti.

_Masram_.--A common sept of Gonds.

_Masti_.--(Dancer.) Subcaste of Madgi.

_Mastram_.--(Mastra, brass bangles.) A sept of Gonds in Betul. The
women of this sept wear brass bangles.

_Masuria_.--A subcaste of Kurmi. From _masur_, lentil. A section
of Rajput.

_Mathadhari_.--(Living in a monastery.) A celibate clan of Manbhao

_Mathpati_.--(Lord of the hermitage.) A subcaste of Jangam.

_Mathur, Mathuria_.--(From Mathura or Muttra.) A subcaste of Kayasth. A
subdivision of Brahman. A subcaste of Banjara, Darzi and Nai.

_Matkuda_, _Matkora_.--(Earth-digger.) A subcaste and synonym of
Beldar. A name for Gonds and Pardhans who take to earthwork.

_Mattha_.--Corruption of Maratha. A subcaste of Koshti, Mahar and Teli,
and a title of Teli.

_Matti_.--A subdivision of low-class Brahmans returned from
Khairagarh. Also a class of Kashmiri Brahmans.

_Matwala_.--(A drinker of country liquor.) Subcaste of Kadera.

_Mawasi_, _Mirdhan_.--Subcaste of Dahait. Title of the headman of
the Dahait caste committee.

_Mayaluar_.--(Chief man of the caste.) A subcaste of Turi.

_Mayur_.--(Peacock.) A totemistic section of the Ahir, Hatwa, Gond,
Sonjhara and Sundi castes.

_Mayurmara_.--(Killer of peacock.) A section of Bahelia.

_Meda Gantia_.--(Counter of posts.) Title of Bhatra. Official who
fixes date and hour for wedding.

_Medara, Medari_.--The Telugu caste of bamboo-workers and mat-makers,
corresponding to the Basors. They have the same story as the Basors
of the first bamboo having been grown from the snake worn by Siva
round his neck, which was planted head downwards in the ground. The
customs of the Medaras, Mr. Francis says, [468] differ from place
to place. In one they will employ Brahman _purohits_ (priests), and
prohibit widow-marriage, while in the next they will do neither,
and will even eat rats and vermin. The better classes among them
are taking to calling themselves Balijas or Baljis, and affixing the
title of Chetti to their names.

_Medari_.--Synonym of Medara.

_Mehar_.--Synonym of Bhulia.

_Meher_.--A section of Malwi Ahir, a synonym for Bhulia. A title
of Chamar.

_Mehra_.--Synonym for Mahar. A subcaste of Katia and Kori.

_Mehta_.--A group of Brahmans. A section of Oswal Bania.

_Mehtar_.--(A prince or leader.) Common name for the sweeper
caste. Title of the president of the Dhobi caste committee.

_Meman_.--Synonym of Cutchi.

_Meshbansi_.--(Descendant of a sheep.) A clan of Rajputs.

_Mewada, Mewari_.--(From _Mewar_.) A division of Gujarati or Khedawal
Brahmans. A subcaste of Chhipa, Darzi, Mali and Sunar.

_Mewati_.--Synonym of Meo. See article. A class of Fakirs or Muhammadan

_Mhali_.--Synonym of Nai.

_Mhasia, Mhashi_.--(_Mhas_, buffalo.) A sept of Halba. A section
of Kohli.

_Mihir_.--Synonym of Bhulia.

_Mina_.--A caste. A section of Raghuvansis.

_Mirdaha_.--A subcaste of Dahait, Khangar, and Nat. A section of
Raghuvansi. Name used for the mate of a gang of coolies.

_Mir-Dahait._--Title of the Mirdha caste.

_Mirdha_.--A small caste found only in the Narsinghpur District. They
are a branch of the Khangar or Dahait caste of Saugor and Damoh. The
names of their exogamous sections tally with those of the Khangars, and
they have the same story of their ancestors having been massacred at
a fort in Orchha State and of one pregnant woman escaping and hiding
under a _kusum_ tree (_Schleichera trijuga_), which consequently
they revere. Like Khangars they regard Muhammadan eunuchs and Fakirs
(beggars) with special friendship, on the ground that it was a
Fakir who sheltered their ancestress when the rest of the caste were
massacred by Rajputs, and Fakirs do not beg at their weddings. One
explanation of the name is that this section of the caste were born
from a Muhammadan father and a Dahait woman, and hence were called
Mir-Dahaits or Mirdaha, Mir being a Muhammadan title. Mirdha is,
however, as noted by Mr. Hira Lal, the name of the head of the caste
committee among the Dahaits; and in Hoshangabad he is a servant of
the village proprietor and acts as assistant to the Kotwar or village
watchman; he realises the rents from the tenants, and sometimes works
as a night guard. In Gujarat the name is said to be a corruption
of _mir-deh_ or 'mason of the village.' [469] Here it is said that
the Mirdhas are held to be of part foreign, part Rajput origin,
and were originally official spies of the Gujarat sultans. They are
now employed as messengers and constables, and therefore seem to be
analogous to the same class of persons in the Central Provinces.

_Mirshikar_.--Synonym of Pardhi.

_Misra_ or _Misar_.--A surname of Kanaujia, Jijhotia, Sarwaria and
Uriya Brahmans.

_Mistri_.--(Corruption of the English Mister.) A master carpenter or
mate of a gang. Title of Barhai, Beldar and Lohar.

_Mithia_.--(A preparer of sweets.) Synonym of Halwai.

_Mochi_.--(A shoemaker.) A caste. Subcaste of Chamar.

_Modh_.--A subdivision of Khedawal or Gujarati Brahmans who take
their name from Modhera, an ancient place in Gujarat. A subcaste of
Gujarati Bania.

_Modh-Ghaneli_.--Subcaste of Teli in Gujarat.

_Moghia_.--Synonym of Pardhi.

_Mohania_.--(Captivator.) A section of Rajjhar and Kirar.

_Mohtaria_.--Title of the headman of the Andh caste committee.

_Mohtera_.--One who fixes the auspicious moment, hence the headman
of the caste. A titular section of Basor.

_Monas_.--A subdivision of Brahmans.

_Mongre_, _Mongri_, _Mongrekair_.--(A club or mallet.) A section of
Ahir or Rawat in Chhattisgarh, and of Chamar, Ganda, and Panka.

_Mori_.--A branch of the Panwar Rajputs.

_Mor Kachhi_.--One who prepares the _maur_ or marriage-crown for
weddings. Subcaste of Kachhi.

_Morkul_.--A section of Komti. They do not use asafoetida (_hing_)
nor the fruit of the _umar_ fig-tree.

_Motate_.--(From _mot_, water-bag.) A subcaste of Kapewar.

_Moujikul_.--A section of Komti. They do not use pepper.

_Mowar_.--Subcaste of Rajwar.

_Mowasi_.--A resident of the forests of Kalibhit and Melghat known
as the Mowas. Subcaste of Korku.

_Muamin_.--Synonym of Cutchi.

_Muasi_.--Title of Korku; subcaste of Korwa.

_Muchi_.--Synonym of Mochi.

_Mudara_.--Subcaste of Parja.

_Mudgalia_.--(From _mudgal_, Indian club--an athlete.) A surname of
Adi Gaur Brahmans in Saugor.

_Mudha_.--Synonym for Munda.

_Mudotia_.--(From _mudha_, a cheat.) A surname of Sanadhia Brahmans
in Saugor.

_Mughal_.--A tribal division of Muhammadans. See article Muhammadan

_Muhammadan_.--Subcaste of Koli.

_Muhjaria_.--(Burnt mouth.) A section of Lodhi.

_Mukeri_.--Or Kasai, a small Muhammadan caste of traders in cattle
and butchers. In 1891 more than 900 were returned from the Saugor
District. Their former occupation was to trade in cattle like the
Banjaras, but they have now adopted the more profitable trade of
slaughtering them for the export of meat; and as this occupation is
not considered very reputable, they have perhaps thought it desirable
to abandon their caste name. The derivation of the term Mukeri is
uncertain. According to one account they are a class of Banjaras, and
derive their name from Mecca, on the ground that one of their Naiks
or headmen was camping in the neighbourhood of this town, at the time
when Abraham was building it, and assisted him in the work. When they
emigrated from Mecca their illustrious name of Makkai was corrupted
into Mukeri. [470] A variant of this story is that their ancestor was
one Makka Banjara, who also assisted in the building of Mecca, and
that they came to India with the early Muhammadan invaders. [471]
The Mukeris form a caste and marry among themselves. In their
marriage ceremony they have adopted some Hindu observances, such
as the anointing of the bride and bridegroom with turmeric and the
erection of a marriage-shed. They take food from the higher Hindu
castes, but will not eat with a Kayasth, though there is no objection
to this on the score of their religion. They will admit an outsider,
if he becomes a Muhammadan, but will not give their daughters to him
in marriage, at any rate until he has been for some years a member
of the caste. In other matters they follow Muhammadan law.

_Mullaji_.--Title of the priests of the Bohra caste.

_Multani_.--Subcaste and synonym of Banjara.

_Munda_.--(A village headman, from _munda_, the head.) Title and
synonym of Kol. A subcaste of Kharia and Oraon.

_Mundela_.--(Bald-headed.) A surname of Jijhotia Brahmans in Saugor.

_Mundle_.--(Shaven ones.) Subcaste of Gujar.

_Munikul_.--A section of Komti. They do not use _munga_ beans.

_Munjia_.--Name of an Akhara or school of Bairagi religious
mendicants. See Bairagi.

_Munurwar_.--Synonym of Kapewar.

_Murai, Murao_.--(From _muli_, or radish.) Subcaste of Kachhi.

_Murchulia_.--(One who puts rings on the fingers of the caste.) A
section of Ganda and Panka in Raipur.

_Muria_.--A well-known subtribe of Gonds in Bastar and Chanda.

_Murli_.--Synonym of Waghya.

_Musabir_.--Synonym of Mochi.

_Musahar_.--(A rat-eater.) Subcaste and title of Bhuiya.

_Musare_.--(_Musar_, a pestle.) A section of Mali.

_Mussali_.--Title of Mehtar.

_Mutracha_.--Synonym of Mutrasi.

_Mutrasa_.--Synonym of Mutrasi.

_Mutrasi_, _Mutrasa_, _Muthrasi_, _Mutracha_.--(From the Dravidian
roots _mudi_, old, and _racha_, a king, or from Mutu Raja, a sovereign
of some part of the Telugu country.) [472] A caste which is numerous
in Hyderabad and Madras, and of which a few persons are found in the
Chanda District of the Central Provinces. The Mutrasis are the village
watchmen proper of Telingana or the Telugu country. [473] They were
employed by the Vijayanagar kings to defend the frontier of their
country, and were honoured with the title of Paligar. Their usual
honorific titles at present are Dora (Sahib or Lord) and Naidu. As
servants they are considered very faithful and courageous. Some
of them have taken to masonry in Chanda, and are considered good
stone-carvers. They are a comparatively low caste, and eat fowls and
drink liquor, but they do not eat beef or pork. It is compulsory among
them to marry a girl before she arrives at adolescence, and if this
is not done her parents are put out of caste, and only readmitted on
payment of a penalty.

_Nabadia_.--(Boatman or sailor.) A synonym for Kewat.

_Naddaf_.--A synonym for Bahna or Pinjara.

_Nadha_.--(Those who live on the banks of streams.) Subcaste of Dhimar.

_Nadia_.--A clan of Dangi.

_Nag, Nagesh_.--(Cobra.) A sept of the Ahir or Rawat, Binjhal,
Bhatia, Chasa, Hatwa, Halba, Khadal, Kawar, Khangar, Karan, Katia,
Kolta, Lohar, Mahar, Mali, Mowar, Parja, Redka, Sulia, Sundi and
Taonla castes. Most of these castes belong to Chhattisgarh and the
Uriya country.

_Naga_.--A clan of Gosains or mendicants. See Gosain.

_Nagar_.--A subcaste of Brahmans belonging to Gujarat; a subcaste of
Bania; a section of Teli.

_Nagarchi_.--(A drum-beater.) A class of Gonds. A subcaste of Ganda
and Ghasia.

_Nagarchi_.--The Nagarchis appear to be a class of Gonds, whose special
business was to beat the _nakkara_ or kettledrums at the gates of
forts and palaces. In some Districts they now form a special community,
marrying among themselves, and numbered about 6000 persons in 1911. The
_nagara_ or _nakkara_ is known in Persia as well as in India. Here
the drum is made of earthenware, of a tapering shape covered at both
ends with camel-hide for the _zir_ or treble, and with cowhide for the
_bam_ or bass. It is beaten at the broader end. In Persia the drums
were played from the Nakkara-khana or gateway, which still exists
as an appanage of royalty in the chief cities of Iran. They were
beaten to greet the rising and to usher out the setting sun. During
the months of mourning, Safar and Muharram, they were silent. [474]
In India the _nagara_ were a pair of large kettledrums bound with
iron hoops and twice as large as those used in Europe. They were
a mark of royalty and were carried on one of the state elephants,
the royal animal, in the prince's _sowari_ or cavalcade, immediately
preceding him on the line of march. The right of displaying a banner
and beating kettledrums was one of the highest marks of distinction
which could be conferred on a Rajput noble. When the titular Maratha
Raja had retired to Satara and any of the Maratha princes entered
his territory, all marks of royalty were laid aside by the latter
and his _nagara_ or great drum of empire ceased to be beaten. [475]

The stick with which the kettledrum was struck was called _danka_,
and the king's jurisdiction was metaphorically held to extend so
far as his kettledrums were beaten. _Angrezi raj ka danka bajta hai_
or 'Where the English drum is beaten,' means 'So far as the English
empire extends.' In Egypt the kettledrums were carried on camels. [476]

_Nagaria_.--(A drum-player.) A section of Jasondhi Bhat and Teli.

_Nagbans_.--(Descended from the cobra.) A totemistic sept of Gadba,
Ghasia, and Gond.

_Nagla_.--(Naked.) Subcaste of Khond.

_Nagpure_.--(From Nagpur.) A section of Lodhi and Kohli.

_Nagvansi_.--A clan of Rajputs. See article Rajput-Nagvansi. A subcaste
and section of Sunar. A section of Daharia or Daraiha and Gond.

_Nahar_.--(Tiger.) A subtribe of Baiga. A section of Rajputs in Saugor.

_Nahonia_.--A clan of Dangi in Damoh and Saugor. They were formerly
Kachhwaha Rajputs from Narwar, but being cut off from their own
domicile they married with Dangis. Rajputs accept daughters from them
but do not give their daughters to Nahonias.

_Naidu_.--Title of the Balija, Mutrasi and Velama castes. Often used
by Balijas as their caste name.

_Naik_.--(Leader.) A subdivision of Gond, also known as Darwe. A title
of Banjara headmen. A title of Teli and Kolta. A section of Ahir,
Chamar, Chasa, Gadaria, Halba, Kewat, Khond, Mali, Sudh.

_Nakib_.--Mace-bearer or flag-bearer in a procession. Subcaste of
Jasondhi Bhat and Khangar.

_Nakshbandia_.--A class of Fakirs or Muhammadan beggars.

_Naksia_.--Synonym of Nagasia.

_Namdeo_.--A religious sect confined to members of the Chhipa and
Darzi castes, which has become a subcaste.

_Nanakshahi_.--Synonym of Nanakpanthi.

_Nandia_.--(One who leads about with him a performing bullock). From
Nandi, the bull on which Mahadeo rides. Subcaste of Jogi.

_Nandvansi_.--Subcaste of Ahir.

_Nanghana_.--A name given to the Kol tribe in Hoshangabad.

_Napita_.--Sanskrit name for Nai or barber.

_Naqqal_.--Title of Bhand.

_Naraina_.--Subcaste of Patwa.

_Naramdeo_.--A subcaste of Brahmans belonging to the Gaur branch. They
take their name from the river Nerbudda.

_Narbadi_, _Narmada_.--(From the river Nerbudda.) A subdivision of
Maharashtra Brahmans. A section of Yajur-Vedi Brahmans. A synonym
for Naramdeo Brahmans. A section of Agharia, Binjhal and Chamar.

_Narnolia_.--(From a place called Narnol in the Punjab.) Subcaste
of Mehtar.

_Narwaria_.--A clan of Dangi. A subcaste of Ahir.

_Nata_.--(A young bullock.) A section of Ahir and Oswal Bania.

_Nathunia_.--(Nose-ring.) A subcaste of Pasi.

_Navadesia_.--(A man of nine districts.) Subcaste of Banjara.

_Nawaria_.--A subcaste of Barhai, Lohar, Kachera or Sisgar, Nai
and Tamera.

_Nazir_.--(A cashier or usher.) Subcaste of Jasondhi Bhat.

_Negi_.--A vice-president of the caste committee in the Kharia caste.

_Nema_ or _Nima_.--A subcaste of Bania. See article Bania, Nema.

_Netam_.--(The dog in Gondi.) One of the common septs of Gond. Also
a sept of Basor, Bhatra, Bhuiya, Dewar, Kawar and Parja.

_Nawari_.--(From _newar_, thick tape used for webbing of
beds.) Subcaste of Bahna.

_Niaria_.--An occupational term applied to persons who take the refuse
and sweepings from a Sunar's shop and wash out the particles of gold
and silver. See article Sunar.

_Nigam_, _Nigum_.--A subcaste of Kayasth.

_Nihal_.--Synonym of Nahal.

_Nihang_.--A class of Bairagis or religious mendicants, who remain

_Nikhar_.--A subcaste of Ahir, Bharewa (Kasar), Gadaria. A clan of
Rajput. A section of Koshti.

_Nikumbh_.--A clan of Rajputs included in the thirty-six royal races. A
section of Joshi.

_Nilgar_.--Synonym of Chhipa.

_Nilkar_.--(From _nil_, indigo.) A subcaste of Darzi or Simpi (tailors)
in Naagpur, so named because they took up the work of dyeing in
addition to their own and formed a new subcaste.

_Nimanandi_.--A Vishnuite sect and order of religious mendicants. See

_Nimari_, _Nimadi_, _Nimaria_.--(A resident of Nimar.) A subcaste of
Balahi, Bania, Dhobi, Mahar and Nai.

_Nimawal_.--A class of Bairagi.

_Nirali_.--Synonym of Chhipa.

_Niranjani_.--Name of an Akhara or school of Bairagis. See Bairagi.

_Nirbani_.--(_Nir_, without; _bani_, speech.) A class of Bairagis
who refrain from speech as far as possible.

_Nirmohi_.--A class of Bairagis.

_Nona_ or _Lona_.--Name derived from Nona or Lona Chamarin, a
well-known witch. Subcaste of Chamar.

_Nulkachandriah_.--Caste priests. Subcaste of Madgi.

_Nun_.--(Salt.) A sept of Oraon.

_Nunia_, _Nonia_, _Lunia_.--(Saltmaker.) A synonym of Beldar. A
section of Binjhwar and Koli.

_Od_.--Synonym of Beldar.

_Odde_, _Ud_.--(From Odra the old name of Orissa.) Term for a digger
or navvy. A group of Beldars.

_Odhia_.--Synonym for Audhia Bania.

_Odia_ or _Uriya_.--Subcaste of Beldar in Chhattisgarh.

_Oiku_.--Subtribe of Majhwar.

_Ojha_.--(From _Ojh_, entrails.) A caste of Gond augurs, see article. A
title of Maithil Brahmans. A subcaste of Lohar, Nat and Savar.

_Okkilyan_.--Synonym of Wakkaliga.

_Omre_, _Umre_.--A subcaste of Bania. See Bania Umre.--A subcaste
of Teli.

_Onkar Nath_.--A subdivision of Jogis.

_Onkule_.--Subcaste of Koshti.

_Orha_.--Subcaste of Chasa.

_Oswal_.--A subcaste of Bania. See subordinate article to Bania.

_Ota_.--(One who recites the Vedas aloud in sacrifices.) An honorific
title of Uriya Brahmans.

_Otari, Watkari_.--A low caste of workers in brass in the Maratha
country. The name is derived from the Marathi verb _otne_, to pour
or smelt. They number about 2600 persons in the Bhandara and Chanda
Districts, and in Berar. The caste have two subcastes, Gondadya and
Maratha, or the Gond and Maratha Otaris. The latter are no doubt
members of other castes who have taken to brass-working. Members
of the two subcastes do not eat with each other. Their family names
are of different kinds, and some of them are totemistic. They employ
Brahmans for their ceremonies, and otherwise their customs are like
those of the lower artisan castes. But it is reported that they have
a survival of marriage by capture, and if a man refuses to give his
daughter in marriage after being asked twice or thrice, they abduct
the girl and afterwards pay some compensation to the father. They
make and sell ornaments of brass and bell-metal, such as are worn by
the lower castes, and travel from village to village, hawking their
toe-rings and anklets. There is also an Otari subcaste of Kasars.

_Pabaiya_.--(From Pabai in Bundelkhand.) A clan of Rajputs in

_Pabia_.--A small caste in the zamindaris of the Bilaspur District,
and some of the Feudatory States, who numbered about 9000 persons
in 1911. They appear to be Pans or Gandas, who also bear the name
of Pab, and this has been corrupted into Pabia, perhaps with a view
to hiding their origin. They are wretchedly poor and ignorant. They
say that they have never been to a Government dispensary, and would
be afraid that medicine obtained from it would kill them. Their only
remedies for diseases are branding the part affected or calling in a
magician. They never send their children to school, as they hold that
educated children are of no value to their parents, and that the object
of Government in opening schools is only to obtain literate persons
to carry on its business. One curious custom may be noticed. When
any one dies in a family, all the members, as soon as the breath
leaves his body, go into another room of the house; and across the
door they lay a net opened into the room where the corpse lies. They
think that the spirit of the dead man will follow them, and will be
caught in the net. Then the net is carried away and burnt or buried
with the corpse, and thus they think that the spirit is removed and
prevented from remaining about the house and troubling the survivors.

_Pabeha_.--Synonym for Dhimar.

_Pabudia_ or _Madhai_.--A subcaste of Bhuiya.

_Pachadhe_.--(Western.)--A subdivision of Saraswat Brahman.

_Pachbhaiya_.--(Five Brothers.) A section of Ahir and Audhelia.

_Pada_.--(A pig-eater.) A section of Muria Gonds and Pardhans.

_Padhan_.--(An Uriya name for a chief or headman of a village.) A
section of Bhuiya, Chasa, Dumal, Hatwa, Kolta, Tiyar and other Uriya
castes. A title of Chasa and Kolta.

_Padmasale_.--Subcaste of Koshti.

_Padyal_.--A subtribe of Gond in Chanda. A section of Marori.

_Pahalwan_.--A small community numbering about 600 persons in the
Bilaspur District and surrounding tracts of Chhattisgarh. The word
Pahalwan means a wrestler, but Sir B. Robertson states [477] that
they are a small caste of singing beggars and have no connection with
wrestling. They appear, however, to belong to the Gopal caste, who have
a branch of Pahalwans in their community. And the men returned from
Bilaspur may have abandoned wrestling in favour of singing and begging
from trees, which is also a calling of the Gopals. They themselves say
that their ancestors were Gopals and lived somewhere towards Berar, and
that they came to Bilaspur with the Maratha leader Chimnaji Bhonsla.

_Pahar_.--Subcaste of Mahli.

_Paharia_ or _Benwaria_.--Subcaste of Korwa.

_Paik_.--(A foot-soldier.) See Rajput-Paik.

_Paikaha_.--(One who follows the calling of curing hides.) Synonym
for Chamar.

_Paikara_.--(From Paik, a foot-soldier.) Subcaste of Kawar.

_Pailagia_.--(Pailagi or 'I fall at your feet,' is a common term of
greeting from an inferior to a superior.) Subcaste of Dahait.

_Paiyam_.--(From _paiya_, a calf.) A sept of Gonds in Betul.

_Pajania_.--(_Paijana_, tinkling anklets.) A section of Kurmi.

_Pakhali_.--(From _pakhali_, a leathern water-bag.) Synonym of Bhishti.

_Pakhawaji_.--(One who plays on the _pakhawaj_ or timbrel.) Title
of Mirasi.

_Pakhia_.--(They are so called because they eat the flesh of the _por_
or buffalo.) Subcaste of Khond.

_Palas._--(From the _palas_ tree, _Butea frondosa_.) A totemistic
sept of Gonds.

_Palewar_.--A _gotra_ of Binjhwar; a subcaste of Dhimar found in the
Telugu country. They are also called Bhoi in Chanda. A name for Telugu
Dhimars or watermen. A section of Binjhwar.

_Palgaria_.--(Sleeping on a _palang_ or cot.) A sept of Bhunjia.

_Palliwal_.--A subcaste of Brahmans belonging to the Kanaujia
division. They take their name from Pali, a trading town of Marwar. A
subcaste of Bania, whose name is derived from the same place.

_Palsa-gacha_.--(_Palas_ tree, _Butea frondosa_.) A totemistic sept
of Pans.

_Palshe_.--A subcaste of Maratha Brahmans. They derive their name
from Palsaoli village in Kalyan (Bombay Presidency).

_Pampatra_.--(Those who use their hands as pots.) A section of

_Pan_.--(Name of a forest tribe.) Synonym for Ganda.

_Panch, Panchayat_.--(A caste committee, so called because it is
supposed to consist of five (_panch_) persons.) A section of Marar.

_Panchal_.--An indeterminate group of artisans engaged in any of
the following five trades: Workers in iron, known as Manu; workers
in copper or brass called Twashtik; workers in stone or Shilpik;
workers in wood or Maya; and workers in gold and silver designated
as Daivagnya. [478] The caste appear to be of Telugu origin, and
in Madras they are also known as Kammala. In the Central Provinces
they were amalgamated with the Sunars in 1901, but in 1891 a total of
7000 were returned, belonging to the southern Districts; while 2700
members of the caste are shown in Berar. The name is variously derived,
but the principal root is no doubt _panch_ or five. Captain Glasfurd
writes it Panchyanun. [479] In the Central Provinces the Panchals
appear generally to work in gold or brass, while in Berar they are
blacksmiths. The gold-workers are an intelligent and fairly prosperous
class, and devote themselves to engraving, inlaying, and making gold
beads. They are usually hired by Sunars and paid by the piece. [480]
They are intent on improving their social position and now claim
to be Vishwa Brahmans, presumably in virtue of their descent from
Viswa Karma, the celestial architect. At the census they submitted
a petition begging to be classified as Brahmans, and to support
their claim they employ members of their own caste to serve them as
priests. But the majority of them permit the remarriage of widows,
and do not wear the sacred thread. In other respects their customs
resemble those of the Sunars. The Berar Panchals, on the other hand,
appear to be a much lower group. Mr. Kitts describes [481] them as a
"wandering caste of smiths living in grass-mat huts and using as fuel
the roots of thorn bushes, which they batter out of the ground with
the back of a short-handled axe peculiar to themselves. The Berari
Panchals," he continues, "who differ from the Dakhani division in the
custom of shaving their heads and beards on the death of a parent,
have been in the Provinces for some generations. They live in small
_pals_ or tents, and move from place to place with buffaloes, donkeys,
and occasionally ponies to carry their kit. The women of the Berari
division may be distinguished from those of the Dakhani Panchals by
their wearing their _lugras_ or body-cloths tucked in at the back,
in the fashion known as _kasote_." It is no doubt from the desire to
dissociate themselves from the wandering blacksmiths of Berar that
the Panchals of the Central Provinces desire to drop their caste name.

_Pancham_.--A subcaste of Bania. A subcaste of Barai, the same
as Beraria.

_Panchbhai_.--(Five brothers.) A surname of Bhanara Dhimars, a section
of Ghasia.

_Panchdeve_.--A subdivision of Gonds, worshipping five gods and paying
special reverence to the _saras_ crane.

_Panch Dravid_.--One of the two primary divisions of Brahmans,
inhabiting the country south of the Vindhya hills and Nerbudda river,
and including the following five orders: viz., Karnata (Carnatic),
Dravid (Madras), Tailanga (Telugu country), Maharashtra (Bombay)
and Gurjara (Gujarat).

_Panch Gaur_.--One of the two primary divisions of Brahmans inhabiting
the country north of the Vindhya hills and Nerbudda river; it includes
the following five orders: Saraswat (Punjab), Kanaujia (Hindustan),
Gaur (Bengal), Utkal (Orissa) and Maithil (Bihar or Tirhut).

_Panchghar_.--One of the three subdivisions of Kanaujia Brahmans
in Hoshangabad.

_Panda_.--(A priest of Devi, a wise man.) A subcaste or title
of Mali. A subcaste and surname of Uriya Brahmans. A subcaste of
Jasondhi Bhats.

_Pandaram_.--A class of Brahman priests.

_Pande_.--(A wise man.) A surname of Kanaujia and Gaur Brahmans. A
section of Agharia, Barhai, Kewat and Marar. A title of Joshi and

_Pandhare_.--(White.) Subcaste of Sunar.

_Pandit_.--(A learned man.) A title of Brahmans.

_Pandki_.--(Dove.) A totemistic sept of Bhatra, Kawar and Parja.

_Pandra_.--A small caste of cultivators in the Uriya country. It is
said that one of the Rajas of Patna had an illegitimate son to whom
he gave the village of Pandri. His descendants were the Pandras.

_Pandwar_ or _Padwar_.--A section of Panka in Raipur. They are said
to be so named because they washed the feet of others.

_Pangal_.--Subcaste of Gopal. They make mats, but in addition to this
they are mendicants begging from trees.

_Panhara_.--An occupational term meaning a seller of _pan_ or

_Panibhar_.--(A waterman.) Subcaste of Dangri.

_Panigrahi_.--(Husband.) An honorific title of Uriya Brahmans.

_Panjha_.--(Paw of an animal.) A sept of Gond.

_Panka_.--A weaver caste derived from the Gandas, being Gandas who
follow the Kabirpanthi sect. See article. In Chhattisgarh Pankas
sometimes call themselves Das, as servants of Kabir. Panka is also
a subcaste of Ganda.

_Pansari_.--(A druggist.) Synonym for Barai.

_Panwar_.--A clan of Rajput. See article Panwar Rajput. A subcaste
of Banjara and Bhoyar. A section of Ahir, Bhilala, Koshti, Maratha
and Marori.

_Parasar, Parashar_.--(Name of a Brahmanical saint.) An eponymous
section of Brahmans. A surname of Sanadhya and Gaur Brahmans. A
section of Basdeva, Rangari, Sunar and Vidur.

_Parauha_.--(From _para_, a male buffalo calf.) A subcaste of Basdewa
who deal in buffaloes.

_Parbat_.--Name of one of the ten orders of Gosain.

_Parbhu_.--Synonym of Prabhu.

_Pardeshi_.--(A foreigner.) The name is sometimes applied to immigrants
from Malwa, and also to those coming from northern India. A subcaste
of the Bahna, Barai, Barhai, Chamar, Dhimar, Dhobi, Garpagari, Kimbi,
Kasar, Kumhar, Lohar, Nai, Rangari, Sunar and Teli castes.

_Pardhan_.--(A chief.) A caste who are priests of the Gonds. See
article. A section of Chhattisgarhi Ahir or Rawat, Halba and
Pabia. Title of caste headman of the Kharia tribe.

_Pardhi_.--(A hunter.) A caste. See article. A subcaste of Khatik. A
section of Kunbi and Panwar Rajput.

_Parewa_.--(A pigeon.) A section of Chhattisgarhi Ahir or Rawat,
and Panka.

_Parganiha_.--A synonym of Pardhan (Gond priests) in Kawardha.

_Parihar_.--An important clan of Rajputs. See Rajput Parihar. A
section of Daharia and Daraiha, of Panwar Rajput and Pardhi.

_Parit_.--Synonym for Dhobi in the Maratha districts.

_Parka_. [482]--A small caste of labourers belonging to the Jubbulpore
District and adjoining tracts, whose strength was something over 2000
persons in 1901. Sir B. Robertson wrote [483] in 1891 that the Parkas
of the three northern Districts had been kept separate from the Panka
caste in the census tables, but that they were in all probability the
same. Mr. Hira Lal points out that several of the names of septs as
Padwar, Sanwani, Gullia and Dharwa are the same in the two castes,
and that in the Districts where Parkas are found there are no
Pankas. The Panka caste was probably formed in Chhattisgarh by the
separation of those Gandas or Pans who had embraced the doctrines of
Kabir from their parent caste, and the name is a variant of Pan. In
Jubbulpore the name Panka has no understood meaning, and it may
have been corrupted into Pandka (a dove) and thence to Parka. Like
the Pankas the Parkas often act as village watchmen. Many of the
Parkas are also Kabirpanthis and, as with the Pankas, those who
are not Kabirpanthis and do not abstain from flesh and liquor are
called Saktahas. Intermarriage is not prohibited between the Parka
Kabirpanthis and Saktahas. Some of the Parkas play on drums and act
as village musicians, which is a regular occupation of the Pankas and
Gandas. It may also be noted that the Parkas will take food cooked
with water from a Gond and that they worship Bura Deo, the great god
of the Gonds. Perhaps the most probable surmise as to their origin
is that they are a small mixed group made up of Pankas and Gonds. A
proverbial saying about the caste is '_Gond Raja, Parka Pardhan_,'
or 'The Gond is the master and the Parka the servant,' and this also
points to their connection with the Gonds. Several of their section
names indicate their mixed origin, as Kumharia from Kumhar a potter,
Gullia From Gaolia or milkman, Bhullia from Bhulia an Uriya weaver,
Andwan a subcaste of the Mahar caste, Tilasia a sept of the Kawars,
and so on. If a Parka man forms a connection with any woman of higher
caste she will be admitted into the community, and the same privilege
is accorded to a man of any equal or higher caste who may desire to
marry a Parka girl. A girl is only cast out when she is discovered
to have been living with a man of lower caste than the Parkas. All
these facts indicate their mixed origin. As already seen, the caste
are labourers, village watchmen-and musicians, and their customs
resemble those of low-caste Hindus, but they rank above the impure
castes. They will eat food cooked with water from Lodhis, many of whom
are landowners in Jubbulpore, and as such no doubt stand to the Parka
in the relation of employer to servant. Every year on the second day
of Bhadon (August) they worship a four-sided iron plate and a spear,
which latter is perhaps the emblem of the village watchman. Fines
imposed for caste offences are sometimes expended in the purchase of
vessels which thereafter become common property and are lent to any
one who requires them.

_Parnami_.--(A follower of Prannath of Panna.) Subcaste of Dangi.

_Parsai_.--(Village priest.) Synonym for Joshi.

_Parsoli_.--(_parsa_, an axe.) A section of Ahir or Rawat in

_Parwar_.--A subcaste of Bania. See article Bania-Parwar. A subcaste
of Kumhar.

_Passi_.--Synonym of Pasi.

_Patadhari_.--(One occupying the seat of instruction.) A section of
celibate Manbhaos.

_Patane_.--A subcaste of Prabhu, so called on account of their living
near Patan in Gujarat.

_Patbina_.--(From _patti_, sacking, and _binna_, to weave.) Synonym
of Kumrawat. Subcaste of Jogi.

_Patel_.--(Headman of a village.) A subcaste and title of Mali. A
surname of Gaur Brahmans in Saugor and of Parsis. A surname or section
of Agharia, Mahar and Kachhi. A title of the Ahir and Bhoyar castes.

_Pathak_.--(Teacher.) A surname of Kanaujia and other classes of

_Pathan_.--One of the four tribes of Muhammadans. See article
Muhammadan Religion.

_Pathari_.--(A hillman.) Synonym of Pardhan. Subcaste of Katia.

_Patharia_.--A subcaste of Katia, Kurmi and Mahar. A section of
Halba. A subcaste of Agaria, who place a stone on the mouth of the
bellows to fix them in the ground for smelting iron.

_Pathmukh_.--A subsept of the Dhurwa Gonds in Betul. They offer a
young goat to their gods and do not kill bears.

_Pathrot_, _Pathrawat_.--(One who makes and sharpens millstones and
grindstones.) Synonym of Beldar.

_Pati_.--(Lord.) An honorific title of Uriya Brahmans.

_Patkar_.--(From _pat_, widow-marriage.) A subcaste of Sunar in
Wardha. A section of Rangari.

_Patlia_.--(From _patel_.) Title of Panwar Rajput.

_Patnaik_.--A surname of Karan or Mahanti, the Uriya writer caste.

_Patra_.--(An Uriya word meaning councillor.) A subcaste of Kolta
and Chasa, and title of several Uriya castes. Also a synonym for the
Patwa caste.

_Patti_.--(A thread-seller.) Subcaste of Kaikari.

_Patwa_.--A caste. See article. In Seoni tahsil of Hoshangabad
District Patwa and Lakhera appear to be synonymous terms. A section
of Oswal Bania.

_Patwari_.--(Name of the village accountant and surveyor, who is
now a salaried Government official.) The Kayasth caste were formerly
patwaris by profession. See article.

_Patwi_.--(A dyer who colours the silk thread which weavers use to
border their cotton cloth.) Synonym of Patwa. Subcaste of Koshti. From
_pata_, a woven cloth.

_Pawanbans_.--(The children of the wind.) Synonym for Bhuiya.

_Pendhari_.--Synonym of Pindari.

_Peng_.--Subcaste of Parja.

_Penthi_.--(Sheep.) A totemistic sept of Bhulia.

_Periki_, _Perki_, _Perka_.--The Perikis are really a subcaste of
the great Balija or Balji caste, but they have a lower position and
are considered as a distinct group. About 4000 Perikis were returned
in the Central Provinces in 1911 from the Nagpur, Wardha and Chanda
Districts. They derive their names from the _perike_ or panniers
in which they carried